(The information contained in this foreword is not part of this American National Standard (ANS) and has not been processed in accordance with ANSI’s requirements for an ANS. As such, this foreword may contain material that has not been subjected to public review or a consensus process. In addition, it does not contain requirements necessary for conformance to the standard.)


The 1961 edition of ANSI Standard A117.1 presented the first criteria for accessibility to be approved as an American National Standard and was the result of research conducted by the University of Illinois under a grant from the Easter Seal Research Foundation. The National Easter Seal Society and the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities became members of the Secretariat, and the 1961 edition was reaffirmed in 1971.

In 1974, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development joined the Secretariat and sponsored needed research, which resulted in the 1980 edition. After further revision that included a special effort to remove application criteria (scoping requirements), the 1986 edition was published and, when requested in 1987, the Council of American Building Officials (CABO) assumed the Secretariat. Central to the intent of the change in the Secretariat was the development of a standard that, when adopted as part of a building code, would be compatible with the building code and its enforcement. The 1998 edition largely achieved that goal. In 1998, CABO became the International Code Council (ICC).

2003 Edition

New to the 2003 edition are criteria for elements and fixtures primarily for children’s use; enhanced reach range criteria; transportation facilities; additional provisions for assembly areas; and an addition and rearrangement for accessible dwelling and sleeping units. These new criteria are intended to provide a level of coordination between the accessible provisions of this standard and the Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines (FHAG) and the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). Illustrative figures are numbered the same as corresponding text to simplify the use of the Standard. Unless specified otherwise, figures are not part of the Standard. Should a figure appear to illustrate criteria that differ with the text of the Standard, the criteria stated in the text govern.

ANSI Approval

This Standard was processed and approved for submittal to ANSI by the Accredited Standards Committee A117 on Architectural Features and Site Design of Public Buildings and Residential Structures for Persons with Disabilities. ANSI approved the 2003 edition on November 26, 2003. Committee approval of the Standard does not necessarily imply that all Committee members voted for its approval.


ICC/ANSI A117.1–2003 is available for adoption and use by jurisdictions internationally. Its use within a governmental jurisdiction is intended to be accomplished through adoption by reference in accordance with proceedings establishing the jurisdiction’s laws.

Formal Interpretations

Requests for Formal Interpretations on the provisions of ICC/ANSI A117.1–2003 should be addressed to: ICC, Chicago District Office, 4051 W. Flossmoor Road, Country Club Hills, IL 60478–5795.

Maintenance—Submittal of Proposals

All ICC standards are revised as required by ANSI. Proposals for revising this edition are welcome. Please visit the ICC website at www.iccsafe.org for the official “Call for proposals” announcement. A proposal form and instructions can also be downloaded from www.iccsafe.org.

ICC, its members and those participating in the development of ICC/ANSI A117.1–2003 do not accept any liability resulting from compliance or noncompliance with the provisions of ICC 300–2002. ICC does not have the power or authority to police or enforce compliance with the contents of this standard. Only the governmental body that enacts this standard into law has such authority.