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In 1993 the Florida Legislature enacted the "Florida Americans with Disability Accessibility Implementation Act." The purpose and intent of this Act (Sections 553.501-553.513, Florida Statutes) is to incorporate into the laws of Florida the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Public Law No. 101-336, 42 U.S.C. Section 12101 et. seq. ADA, while at the same time to maintain those provisions of Florida law that are more stringent than the ADA accessibility guidelines, that is, those provisions which are more favorable to the needs of the disabled. In 1997 the legislature amended the Act to complete the move to establish consistency of the Florida accessibility building code to the Federal ADA Accessibility Guidelines as adopted by the Department of Justice at 28 CFR part 36, Appendix A. Nothing in Section 553.501-553.513 is intended to expand or diminish the defenses available to a place of public accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines, including, but not limited to, the readily achievable standard, and the standards applicable to alterations to places of public accommodation.

Accessibility is a multifaceted issue within the issues of life today. The legislative actions of the 101st Congress which implemented the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and previous acts of the Florida Legislature have been combined in the following pages to reflect accessibility laws as they relate to most areas of construction in Florida. Areas of employment as related to accessibility and/or complaints would be the responsibility of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 1-800-669-4000 or 305-536-4491.

Primarily because of the complexities of balancing the rights of the physically disabled and the technically specific requirements of the built environment, no single agency has been charged with enforcement of all issues pertaining to accessibility. The following is a listing of agencies and their statutory areas of responsibility for accessibility. A thorough attempt was made by the Department of Community Affairs at the time of publication of this document to ensure that this manual is a reflection of the laws of Florida and the administrative rules of each agency as these requirements relate to construction. Because individual agency rules may change, it is the responsibility of the design professional and the property owner to ensure compliance with subsequent revisions.


For issues pertaining to:

1. H.U.D. Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Hot Line

Washington, D.C.

Voice: 1-800-669-9777


FAX: 1-202-708-1425


Atlanta, GA

Voice: 1-404-331-4149

Forms and Publications


Florida State Offices


Voice: 1-904-232-2627

FAX: 1-904-232-3759


Voice: 1-305-536-4456

FAX: 1-305-536-5765

TTY: 1-305-536-4734


Voice: 1-407-648-6441

FAX: 1-407-648-6310


Voice: 1-813-228-2026

FAX: 1-813-228-2431

TTY: 1-813-228-2115

Florida Commission on Human Relations

Voice: 1-850-488-7082

Voice Message Service: 1-800-342-8170

TDD ASCII 1-800-955-1339

TDD Baudot 1-800-955-8771

Voice Relay Service: 1-800-955-8770


2. Public Telephone Installation and Placement

Florida Public Service Commission

Voice: 1-800-342-3552

Fax: 1-850-511-0809

TDD: 1-800-955-8771


3. Government Parking Facilities

Traffic Operations Office

Florida Department of Transportation

Voice: 1-866-374-3368, ext. 5253

FAX: 1-850-414-5251

TDD: 1-850-921-0762

4. Accessible Parking Placards:

Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

Contact your local Tax Collector's Office. Contact numbers listed by county at: www.hsmv.state.fl.us/offices/

5. Elevator Accessibility:

Department of Business Regulation

Bureau of Elevator Inspection

Automated Call System: 1-850-487-1395, select Hotels & Restaurants, then Elevators


6. Government Facilities

(Standards for Design)

Department of Management Services

Division of Building Construction

Permits and Inspections

Voice: 1-850-488-2856

FAX: 1-850-487-9947


7. Hospital and Health Care Facilities

Agency for Health Care Administration

Office of Plans and Construction

Voice: 1-850-487-0713

FAX: 1-850-922-6483


8. Public Schools and State Universities

Florida Department of Education


Educational Facilities

Voice: 1-850-245-0494

Fax: 1-850-245-9236


Board of Trustees


9. State Prisons

Department of Corrections

Facilities Services

Voice: 1-850-487-1330


10. ADA Questions and Complaints

United States Department of Justice

Voice: 1-800-514-0301

TTY/TDD: 1-800-514-0383


11. Florida Accessibility and Waiver Questions

Codes and Standards

Department of Community Affairs

Voice: 1-850-487-1824

FAX: 1-850-414-8436


12. Historic Preservation Office of Cultural and Historical Resources

Division of Historical Resources

Voice: 1-850-245-6372

FAX: 1-850-245-6437


13. Code Compliance and Enforcement Local Building Departments

553.513 Enforcement. It shall be the responsibility of each local government and each code enforcement agency established pursuant to Section 553.80 to enforce the provisions of this part. This act expressly preempts the establishment of handicapped accessibility standards to the state and supersedes any county or municipal ordinance on the subject. However, nothing in this section shall prohibit municipalities and counties from enforcing the provisions of this act.

History.-s. 6, ch. 89-97; s. 2, ch. 93-183.

Note.-Former s. 553.495.

Department of Community Affairs

553.75(3) The department shall be responsible for the provision of administrative and staff-support services relating to the functions of the board with respect to matters within the jurisdiction of the board, the department shall be responsible for the implementation and faithful discharge of all decisions of the board made pursuant to its authority under the provisions of this part (Sections 553.501 through 553.513, Florida Statute) (see Section 553.506, Florida Statutes).

Florida Building Commission

553.506 Powers of the commission. In addition to any other authority vested in the Florida Building Commission by law, the commission, in implementing Sections. 553.501 through 553.513, may, by rule, adopt revised and updated versions of the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines in accordance with Chapter 120.

553.512 Modifications and waivers; advisory council. The Florida Building Commission shall provide by regulation criteria for granting individual modifications of, or exceptions from, the literal requirements of this part upon a determination of unnecessary, unreasonable, or extreme hardship, provided such waivers shall not violate federal accessibility laws and regulations and shall be reviewed by the Accessibility Advisory Council. (see Section 553.512, Florida Statutes).

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection if an applicant for a waiver demonstrates economic hardship in accordance with 28 C.F.R. s. 36.403(f)(1), a waiver shall be granted. The commission may not consider waiving any of the requirements of Section 553.5041 unless the applicant first demonstrates that he or she has applied for and been denied waiver or variance from all local government zoning, subdivision regulations, or other ordinances that prevent compliance therewith. Further, the commission may not waive the requirement of Section 553.5041(5)(a) and (c)1 governing the minimum width of accessible routes and minimum width of accessible parking spaces.

(2) The Accessibility Advisory Council shall consist of the following seven members, who shall be knowledgeable in the area of accessibility for persons with disabilities. The secretary of community affairs shall appoint the following: a representative from the Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, Inc.; a representative from the Division of Blind Services; a representative from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation; a representative from a statewide organization representing the physically handicapped; a representative from the hearing impaired; a representative from the president, Florida Council of Handicapped Organizations; and a representative of the Paralyzed Veterans of America. The terms for the first three council members appointed subsequent to October 1, 1991, shall be four years; the terms for the next two council members appointed shall be for three years; and the terms for the next two members shall be for two years. Thereafter, all council member appointments shall be for terms of four years. No council member shall serve more than two four-year terms subsequent to October 1, 1991. Any member of the council may be replaced by the secretary upon three unexcused absences. Upon application made in the form provided, an individual waiver or modification may be granted by the commission so long as such modification or waiver is not in conflict with more stringent standards provided in another chapter.

(3) Members of the council shall serve without compensation, but shall be entitled to reimbursement for per diem and travel expenses as provided by Section 112.061.

(4) Meetings of the advisory council shall be held in conjunction with the regular meetings of the commission.

History.-s. 3, ch. 78-333; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 2, ch. 83-265; s. 25, ch. 86-220; s. 5, ch. 89-97; ss. 1, 5, 6, ch. 91-172; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 2, ch. 93-183; s. 10, ch. 97-76; s. 68, ch. 2000-141; s. 61, ch. 2000-154; s. 13, ch. 2002-293.

Note.-Former s. 553.49.

Criteria for reviewing applications for waivers are established by Rule 9B-7, Florida Administration Code.

General Note

If an official either waives an accessible element or feature or allows a change that does not provide equivalent facilitation, the fact that Department of Justice has certified the code itself will not constitute rebuttable evidence that the facility has been constructed or altered in accordance with the minimum accessibility requirements of the ADA.

The text enclosed in shaded boxes indicates changes to the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). Changes are based on requirements established by Florida law and requirements established by 28 CFR 36 Subpart A and D.