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ADA (was Re: Building Codes on-line)

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Drew Morris wrote:

> My father spent the last 11 years of his life in a wheelchair.  While
> ADA can go to extremes, I don't think it is too much to ask for us
> (taxpayers), society, and building owners to make things a little
> easier.  Like most questions, defining "a little easier" can sometimes
> get you into those arguments similar as to the definitions of "the" and
> what constitutes sex.  I leave these to the philosophers, I get enough
> metaphysical bafflement from the IBC or as Tolkien put it (if he was a
> structural engineer), " One code to rule them all and in the darkness
> stump them".

I agree that the ADA requirements are not only necessary, but the minimum
that we as a society are morally obligated to provide.  The largest problem
with the ADA requirements is the complete ambiguity of the text.  It is
virtually impossible to know if you are actually complying with the
regulations.  As Bill indicates, the ADA regulations as written are as if
the intention was to provide job security for the burgeoning ranks of the
legal profession.  While we Engineers debate and clamor regarding the
ambiguities and potential legal pitfalls of the 1997 UBC, we should pause in
our struggle and give thanks in this instance that we are not Architects.

Paul Feather PE, SE

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