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Please note AAB Rules and Regulations posted on this website are now the most recent edition of 521 CMR.

The Architectural Access Board (AAB) is a regulatory agency within the Massachusetts Office of Public Safety. Its legislative mandate states that it shall develop and enforce regulations designed to make public buildings accessible to, functional for, and safe for use by persons with disabilities.

To carry out the board's mandate, the "Rules and Regulations", which appear in the code of Massachusetts Regulations as 521 CMR 1.00, have been developed and amended. These regulations are incorporated in the Massachusetts building code as a "specialized code", making them enforceable by all local and state building inspectors, as well as by the Board itself.

These regulations are designed to provide full and free use of buildings and facilities so that persons with disabilities may have the education, employment, living and recreational opportunities necessary to be as self-sufficient as possible and to assume full responsibilities as citizens.

The Board consists of nine members: the Secretary of Public Safety or his/her designee; the Secretary of Elder Affairs or his/her designee; the Director of the Office on Disability or his/her designee; and six members appointed by the Governor in consultation with the Secretary of Public Safety from lists submitted by the director of the Office on Disability. Six of the appointed members are selected after consultation with advocacy groups in behalf of persons with disabilities. The governor, secretary and director shall exercise their best efforts to ensure at least two members are registered architects. The chairperson shall be elected annually by the members.

The authority of the AAB is triggered by any construction, renovation, remodeling, or alteration of a public building or facility, or a change in use of building from private to public.

Public buildings are buildings constructed by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof with public funds and open to public use, as well as privately financed buildings that are open to and used by the public.

The nine member Board meets every other Monday to hear requests for variances by building owners and others responsible for complying with the regulations and to hear complaints about buildings that are believed to be in violation of the AAB regulations. In order for the Board to grant a variance, compliance must be proven to be impracticable. Impracticability is defined as being either "technologically infeasible" or the "cost of compliance is excessive without any substantial benefit to persons with disability."

All hearings on complaints and variance requests are conducted in accordance with the Massachusetts Administrative Procedures Act, Chapter 30A, and are open to the public.

The Board also has the authority, after a further hearing, to impose fines of up to $1,000 per violation for each day of noncompliance that the Board finds was without justification.

Current members of the Board are:

Walter WhiteExecutive Office of Public Safety and Security Designee, Chairman
Diane McLeodMember, Vice Chair
Raymond GlazierExecutive Office of Elder Affairs Designee
David D'ArcangeloOffice on Disability Director
Jane HardinMember
Andrew BedarRegistered Architect
George DelegasRegistered Architect
Dawn GuarrielloRegistered Architect

The AAB staff members are:

Thomas P. HopkinsDirector
Kate SuttonProgram Coordinator
William JoyceCompliance Officer
David SullivanAssistant to the Director / Board Liaison


If you have any questions about particular process, please send an e-mail to the appropriate AAB staff member by clicking one of the underlined names above.

AAB staff is prepared to assist in the filing of complaints, as well as in providing assistance in presentations before the Board. For more information click on link below to your interests. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Massachusetts Architectural Access Board
One Ashburton Place, Room 1310
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: 617-727-0660
Fax: 617-727-0665

Thank you for visiting the Architectural Access Board.

Board Members

Board Meetings - 2016

Rules and Regulations

Complaint Process

Variance Process

Hearing Process

Advisory Opinion

Design Awards


Forms and Applications