RISBC-17 Public Meetings Accessibility Standard


17.1 Authority

The Building Code Standards Committee, in accordance with the rule-making authority of R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 23-27.3-109.1(a) through (c) inclusive, hereby adopts the provisions of the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards, as published in the Federal Register, as the standard for compliance for accessibility for all public meetings held in buildings constructed and occupied for any public meeting use prior to July 1, 1977.

17.2 General Statement

A. As required by R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-46-13, this Committee has adopted this standard which provides for accessible locations for all meetings of public bodies.

B. It should be noted that specific accessibility requirements for current new construction are included in Chapter 11 of the State Building Code, Part 1 of this Subchapter. Buildings and additions constructed after July 1, 1977 are always required to meet the accessibility standards of the State Building Code in effect at that time.

C. In many cases due to the unusual restrictions and building configurations, it is strongly recommended that design and/or construction assistance be secured.

17.3 Transition Plan

A. A plan should list those facilities accessible complying with the standards established by the Rhode Island Building Code Standards Committee. By utilizing program accessibility pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 42-46 all meetings required to be open to the public are permitted to be relocated to a facility that complies with public meeting accessibility standards. For example, if an existing town hall was not accessible in a community, but a new police/fire station or school complied to the standards, meetings could be relocated to that site to conform.

B. Failure to find conforming space in a community would require changes to be made to existing structures to facilitate compliance. In this event a transition plan should set forth in detail all the steps necessary to complete the changes required to make the facilities accessible.

C. The plan should be compiled with the assistance of interested persons, including handicapped persons or organizations representing the disabled. The plan shall:

1. Identify physical obstacles in the facility that limits the accessibility of its program or activity to handicapped persons.

2. Describe in detail the methods that will be used to make facilities accessible.

3. Specify the time schedule for taking the steps necessary to achieve full program accessibility.

4. Indicate the person/persons responsible for implementation of the plan.

17.4 Specific Requirement

A. Interpreters: To be provided if advance notice is rendered 48 hours prior to function. Services are available from:

1. Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Interpreter Referral Services, William Powers Administration Building One Capitol Hill Providence, RI 02908

222-5300 (voice line)

222-5301 (tty line)

17.5 General Requirement

A. The provisions of the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) as published in the Federal Register, shall be utilized for site access, accessible routes from public conveyances or public parking, into and through the building to the meeting location. Public toilet facilities for the general public, if provided, shall also comply with the provisions of this standard (UFAS). All other elements along the accessible route and within the accessible meeting space shall also comply, including but not limited to fire alarms, detectable warnings, signage, public telephones, audio amplification systems, etc.

B. Contact your local library, state library, the Office of Government Printing in Washington DC, or the Office of the Governor’s Commission on Disabilities for information on acquiring or viewing a copy of these standards.

17.6 Available State Facilities


1. (by appointment only)

a. Rhode Island State Capital Building, Providence, Rhode Island. Many rooms depending on size which could be utilized.

b. Rhode Island College, Providence, Rhode Island. Areas on campus which could be scheduled to hold meetings.

c. CCRI – Lincoln/Warwick. Conference room areas.

d. URI – Kingston/Providence Extension and Narragansett. Areas which could be made available upon request.

e. J. Joseph Garrahy Complex, Providence. Conference room available.

f. New South County Courthouse, Kingston.

g. Veterans Home, Bristol. Areas available upon request.

h. B.H.D.D.H., Cranston. Various buildings available, such as Aime J. Forand Building, Reagan Building, etc.

2. Additional facilities are also available. Contact the Office of the Governor’s Commission on Disabilities at 401-462-0102 for a current list.

Title 510 Building Code Commission
Chapter 00 N/A
Subchapter 00 N/A
Part 17 RISBC-17 Public Meetings Accessibility Standard
Type of Filing Technical Revision
Regulation Status Inactive
Effective 01/01/2006 to 01/04/2022

Regulation Authority:


Purpose and Reason:

This technical revision is being filed to reformat the regulation for publication into the Rhode Island Code of Regulations. No substantive changes have been made.