Request for Renewal of Information Collection:
Online ABA Complaint Form (OMB Control # 3014-0012)
United States Access Board
1. Circumstances Making the Collection of Information Necessary
Under section 502(b)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. § 792(b)(1)), the United
States Access Board (which is also, at times, referred to by its former name, the “Architectural and
Transportation Barriers Compliance Board”) is statutorily charged with enforcing the Architectural
Barriers Act (ABA) by, among other things, investigating and resolving complaints concerning the
accessibility of ABA-covered facilities. In general, the ABA aims to ensure that federal buildings, as well
as non-federal buildings built or altered using federal funds (e.g., schools, public housing, public transit
facilities), are accessible to, and usable by, persons with disabilities.
Any individual who is concerned about the accessibility of an ABA-covered facility can submit an ABA
complaint. The Access Board investigates each complaint within its jurisdiction and, if violations are
found, works with the agency/organization that controls that facility to remedy these accessibility
barriers. Complaints must be written, but can be submitted to the agency though any one of several
methods: email, mail, facsimile, or web-based complaint form.
The Online ABA Complaint Form solicits only information required by the Access Board to carry out its
statutorily-mandated ABA enforcement program. The online form contains fields that prompt users to
provide information needed to evaluate ABA jurisdiction and conduct investigations. This includes the
name and/or address of the building that is the subject of the complaint, as well brief description(s) of
the accessibility barrier(s) encountered at that facility. Additionally, users may, at their option, upload
digital photos or other materials to support or document their complaints. Provision of personal
information by complainants, such as name and/or contact information, is optional and, where
provided, cannot be disclosed by the agency absent written consent.
This information collection pertains only to the web-based ABA complaint form, which is referred to as
the “Online ABA Complaint Form.” The Access Board seeks renewed approval by OMB under the
Paperwork Reduction Act to continue using its existing Online ABA Complaint Form (OMB Control
# 3014-0012) without substantive change. That is, we propose no material changes to either the form
or its fields, but, instead, only modest formatting-type changes to update the ‘‘look and feel’’ of the
2. Purpose and Use of the Information Collection
For nearly a decade, the Access Board has provided complainants the option of submitting ABA
complaints using a web-based form. The primary purposes of the Online ABA Complaint Form are to: (a)
collect information needed by agency staff to evaluate ABA jurisdiction and investigate complaints; (b)
simplify and streamline the complaint-submission process; and (c) create back-end efficiencies for the
ABA enforcement program, which leads to faster complaint processing. Complainants overwhelming
prefer submitting their ABA complaints using this online form in lieu of other modes of submission.
Annually, about 90-95% of ABA complainants are submitted via this web-based form. As discussed in
Section 1, above, information gathered from complainants from the online form is only used by the
agency in furtherance of the agency’s ABA enforcement responsibilities.
3. Consideration Given to Information Technology
The Online ABA Complaint form is, by definition, a digitally-native mode of complaint submission. This
web-based form is user-friendly and accessible. It assists complainants with the complaint filing process
by providing fields that call for entry of information needed by the agency to evaluate jurisdiction,
investigate complaints, and/or refer non-ABA matters to other federal agencies, as applicable. The
format of the online form also helps complainants save time by focusing their data entry efforts on the
information needed for ABA complaints, rather than extraneous matters. As a web-based form,
complainants also have the convenience of completing this complaint form at any time of day or night,
at their convenience.
4. Duplication of Information
No similar data are gathered or maintained by the Access Board or available from outside sources.
Other, non-web-based methods of ABA complaint submission (i.e., email, mail, facsimile) do not involve
Access Board-provided forms. For these, individual complainants submit their written allegations in
their own words using a format/organization of their choosing.
5. Reducing the Burden on Small Entities
Not applicable. This information collection does not impact small businesses or other small entities.
ABA complaints can only be submitted by individuals, not businesses or other organizations.
6. Consequences of Not Conducting Collection
Absent an online complaint form, it is likely that the Access Board’s ABA enforcement program would
experience a significant drop in complaints. Annually, well over 90% of ABA complaints are submitted
using the agency’s existing online form. In light of complainants’ overwhelming preference for the
online form, it is likely that, were there no web-based ABA complaint form, fewer individuals would take
the time to submit written (paper-based) ABA complaints. This drop-off in ABA complaints, in turn,
would likely lead to fewer accessibility barriers being corrected at ABA-covered facilities. Lastly, it is our
experience that, when ABA complaints are submitted in paper-based formats (e.g., email, mail), they are
more likely to be incomplete, and, even when complete, require additional time to process because staff
must manually enter the complaint information into the Access Board’s case tracking database.
7. Special Circumstances
Not applicable. There are no special circumstances. Use of the Online ABA Complaint form is voluntary
and the information provided by complainants is not used for statistical purposes.
8. Consultations with Persons Outside the Agency
In accordance with 5 C.F.R. § 1320.8(d), the Access Board published a 60-day notice for public comment
in the Federal Register. See 85 Fed. Reg. 18913. No comments were received.
9. Payment or Gift
Not applicable. No payments or gifts are provided to individuals who use the Online ABA Complaint
The Online ABA Complaint Form does not necessitate entry of personal information to submit a
complaint. ABA complaints of any type – whether submitted online or through other methods – can be
submitted anonymously. However, should individuals wish to be kept apprised concerning the status or
resolution of their complaint, they must, at minimum, provide one type of contact information (i.e.,
email address, phone number, mailing address). By regulation, any personal information provided by
ABA complainants remains strictly confidential, absent written permission from that individual to
disclose. See 36 C.F.R. part 1150. In addition, access to the agency’s case tracking system is strictly
controlled (and audited) through system permissions, thereby adding another layer of protection for
complainants’ personal information, when submitted.
11. Sensitive Nature
Not applicable. The Online ABA Complaint Form does not solicit information of a personal or sensitive
12. Burden of Information Collection
The projected annual burden hours for this renewed information collection is informed by the Access
Board’s nearly decade-long experience using a web-based ABA complaint form, as well as, more broadly,
it long-standing experience implementing the ABA enforcement program. Typically, the agency receives
between 150 - 190 ABA complaints annually, of which 90-95% are submitted via online form. We
estimate that completion of the online form takes users about 15 -30 minutes, depending on the
number of accessibility barriers alleged and supporting documentation uploaded (which is optional). To
be conservative with regard to burden estimates, we assume 30 minutes for average response time.
The Access Board estimates of the annual reporting burden for the Online ABA Complaint Form are
presented in Table A, below:
Table A: Estimated Annual Reporting Burden
Type of Collection
Online ABA Complaint Form
13. Costs to Respondents
Not applicable. Use of the Online ABA Complaint Form imposes no costs on respondents/complainants.
14. Costs to Federal Government
Not applicable. There are no costs to the Access Board associated with this information collection. In
fact, as noted above in Section 6, submission of ABA complaints via the Online ABA Complaint Form
represents a cost savings to the federal government because, among other things, online complaints
tend to be more complete relative to other modes of complaint submission and the “back-end” of the
web-based form automatically posts complaint data to the agency’s case tracking system.
15. Reason for Change
Not applicable. This is a renewal request for an existing, previously-cleared information collection.
16. Tabulation of Results, Schedule, Analysis Plans
Not applicable. As discussed in Sections 1 and 2, above, the Online ABA Complaint Form is used only in
support of, and in conjunction with, the agency’s ABA enforcement program. Should complaint- or caserelated data be needed to prepare programmatic reviews or reports for external use or posting (e.g.,
congressional budget justification, intra-agency reporting), only anonymized case-related data is used,
such as: accessibility barriers alleged across complaints; corrective actions taken by agencies; or number
of complaints submitted/closed per fiscal year.
17. Display of OMB Approval Date
We are not requesting an exemption with regard to display of OMB control number and expiration date.
18. Exceptions to Certification for Paperwork Reduction Act Submissions
The activities related to this information collection comply with the requirements set forth in 5 C.FR.