Accessibility Advisory Board:
Accessibility Variances / Appeals / Extensions of Time
Under the UCC, the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Industry has sole authority to grant accessibility variances, extensions of time and to hear appeals of code officials' accessibility decisions. This authority relates to all construction projects in Pennsylvania, regardless of who has authority to administer and enforce the requirements of the UCC.
Applications for variances, requests for extension of time and appeals of code officials' decisions on accessibility issues are reviewed by the Accessibility Advisory Board which then advises the Secretary as to the appropriate response.
Filing a Petition with the AAB
To make application, please submit all of the following:
A copy of the Department's ACCESSIBILITY ADVISORY BOARD PETITION (UCC-1A)
All the additional information requested on this form.
A check or money order payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Click here for fee schedule. The department now offers expedited services and will accept expedited requests for variances up until one business day before the board meets. All requests for expedited services must be in writing accompanying the application.
Two (2) sets of assembled and bound drawings on paper sized at a minimum of 18 in. x 24 in. and drawn to an acceptable architectural scale (preferably ¼ in. = 1 ft.).
The completed application, other required information, your payment and drawings should be mailed to:
Accessibility Advisory Board
Department of Labor & Industry
651 Boas Street, Room 1600
Harrisburg, PA 17121
When the Board receives a petition, it is logged in, and the applicant is informed of the receipt of this petition. Applicants are also advised as to when the Board should be able to act upon the request. The Board endeavors to act upon complete submissions within 60 days.
If staff review determines that a submission is deficient (i.e., lacks drawings, required fee or other information), a letter will be sent to the applicant requesting the missing items. If these items are not provided within ten (10) business days, the petition will be returned to the petitioner.
The Board's reviewer will review properly completed petitions and determine if the Board can handle the request as a direct action or whether a personal hearing must be scheduled.
Should a personal hearing be necessary, the applicant will be notified in writing of the date, time and location of the hearing. Otherwise, the petition will be presented to the Board for direct action at a regularly scheduled meeting.
After the Board meets, it advises the Secretary of its recommendations. The Secretary's representative renders a decision on the petition. Letters are sent to the petitioner and, when the Department does not have UCC jurisdiction, to the municipality that has opted to administer and enforce the UCC.
AAB Meeting Dates
The AAB generally meets once a month, beginning at 9:00 AM.
The Board is scheduled to meet on the following dates in 2020:
March - TBD
UCC Accessibility Requirements
The technical code requirements pertaining to building accessibility that are currently enforced in Pennsylvania are found primarily in: Chapter 11 of the International Building Code 2015 or 2018 (depending on which version is applicable); Appendix E of the International Building Code 2015 or 2018 (depending on which version is applicable); and in the ICC/ANSI A117.1-2009 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities Standard.
Please note that the Department and all municipalities that have elected to administer and enforce the UCC (and who have code officials certified as Accessibility Inspectors/Plans Examiners) enforce building code requirements related to accessibility, not the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (and the American with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines). The latter is a civil rights law that is enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Questions about accessibility petitions should be directed to 717-787-3329. If you have a question regarding accessibility code requirements, call 717-787-3806, and select option 1 and then option 3. Ask to speak with one of our Plans Examiners.