ADA and Accessibility

Since May 4, 1977 Vermont law has required that new construction, additions and alterations in public buildings be accessible to people with disabilities. 

The Division of fire safety enforces the Vermont Access Rules, including the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility guidelines, for new construction and alterations to existing buildings. 

The ADA guidelines generally do not apply to existing facilities except where altered. Facilities built or altered according to earlier versions of the ADA or ABA standards will not necessarily have to meet the updated version except where they are subsequently altered or renovated.

 Laws & Rules

2012 Vermont Access Rules - (accepted) - (Effective November 15, 2013)

VT Accessibility Standards Statute -- 20 VSA Chapter 174

2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design

Guidance on the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design


 Previously Editions of Access Rules:

Vermont Access Rules - (Effective May 28, 2007)

1994 Americans with Disabilities Act


Design and Construction Resources

 Fair Housing Act Design Manual

ADA Guide for Small Businesses


 Forms & Information

 Access to Buildings in Vermont history overview

Access Standards for Residential Housing (Act 88)

"Prohibitive Costly" Policy -- Adopted 7/30/01


 Tax Credits and Grants

Owners of historic and non-historic buildings may be eligible for federal and state tax credits and deductions as well as federal and state grants:

Disabled Access Tax Credit
Federal 50% tax credit for expenses up to $10,250.
Contact: IRS or

Tax Deduction to Remove Architectural and Transportation Barriers
Federal tax deductions up to $15,000.
Contact: IRS or

Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit (RITC)
Federal 20% tax credit for substantial rehabilitation of income-producing historic buildings.
Contact: Vermont Division for Historic Preservation (802) 828-3047.

Vermont Downtown Program
In designated downtowns, a 5% state tax credit that is added to the RITC (above) or a 25% tax credit for rehabilitation of older and historic buildings that cannot use the RITC.
Contact: Vermont Downtown Program, (802) 828-3042 or 5212

Community Development Block Grant Program—Accessibility Modification Grants
Federal grants up to $100,000. For access improvements to municipal buildings and libraries.
Contact: Vermont Department of Housing and Community Affairs (802) 828-5215

Cultural Facilities Grants
State grants up to $4,000 for work on cultural facilities including access improvements.
Contact: Vermont Arts Council (802) 828-3778

Additional Resource Links

Federal ADA Standards

  NFPAs Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide for People with Disabilities

Personal Emergency Planning Checklist

Access Board Variance Request - Instructions and Application