Access Currents: March/ April 2013

 

 

Board to Hold Town Hall Meeting in Berkeley on May 9
Ed Roberts CampusCome help us celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day. The Access Board will hold a town hall meeting in Berkeley on May 9. The event will feature welcoming remarks from Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, a panel discussion on promoting accessibility in architecture and urban planning, and an open dialogue on accessible design.

Participants in the panel discussion, "Architecture and Urban Planning for the 21st Century: How Can We Foster Accessibility?" will include Dennis Corelis, California's Deputy State Architect, Professor Raymond Lifchez of the University of California at Berkeley's Department of Architecture, Fred Collignon, Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning at U.C. Berkeley, and Victor Santiago Pineda, a Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of California. Board Member Michael Graves, FAIA will moderate the session.

As part of a broader discussion on accessibility, the Board will invite comments and questions from the public on accessible design as it pertains to the built environment, transportation, communication, or information technology in an "open microphone" session following the panel discussion. The program will conclude with a complimentary reception.

All events are open to the public and will be held at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley. For further information, contact Kathy Johnson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , (202) 272-0041 (voice), or (202) 272-0065 (TTY). The Board requests that attendees refrain from wearing perfume, cologne and other fragrances for the comfort of all participants.

Panel Discussion and Town Hall Meeting
May 9, 1:30 - 6:30
Osher Foundation Education Center, Ed Roberts Campus Directions
3075 Adeline, Suite 220
Berkeley, CA 94703

Program
1:30 - 3:00 Welcoming remarks from Mayor Tom Bates followed by a Panel Discussion, "Architecture and Urban Planning for the 21st Century: How Can We Foster Accessibility?" moderated by Michael Graves, FAIA
3:00 - 3:30 Break
3:30 - 5:00 Open Microphone Session
5:00 - 6:30 Informal Reception (Rooftop)

 


Board Advisory Committee on Medical Diagnostic Equipment to Meet
The Board's Medical Diagnostic Equipment Accessibility Standards Advisory Committee will hold its next meeting May 7 and 8 at the Board's Conference Center. The Board chartered this committee to advance its development of new accessibility standards for medical diagnostic equipment which it proposed for public comment last year.

The meeting agenda and other details are posted on the Board's website. Committee meetings are open to the public.

MDE Accessibility Standards Advisory Committee Meeting
May 7 and 8
Access Board Conference Center
1331 F Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, D.C.
Note: For the comfort of all participants and to promote a fragrance-free environment, attendees are requested not to use perfume, cologne, or other fragrances.

Call-in option (listening only):
Dial: (888) 603-7094
Passcode: 6317703

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART):
[The link will be posted on the MDE homepage.]


Karen Braitmayer, FAIA Elected Board Chair
Karen Braitmayer, FAIAThe Board unanimously elected Karen L. Braitmayer, FAIA as its new Chair on March 13. Braitmayer is a registered architect and principal with Karen Braitmayer, FAIA in Seattle, an architectural consulting firm specializing in accessibility and accessible design that she co-founded 20 years ago. She regularly advises state agencies, local governments, school districts, other architects, and home builders and owners on accessibility under various laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act, and on compliance with state codes in housing, commercial, retail, institutional and educational projects. President Obama appointed Braitmayer to the Board in September 2010.

Braitmayer succeeds Susan Brita of the General Services Administration who was elected Vice Chair. Board officers serve for a term of one year.

The Board is structured to function as a coordinating body among Federal agencies and to directly represent the public, particularly people with disabilities. Half of its members are representatives from most of the Federal departments. The other half is comprised of members of the public appointed by the President.


Upcoming Board Webinars
The next webinar in the Board's free monthly series will take place May 2 from 2:30 - 4:00 (ET) and will review requirements in the ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards for elevators and platform lifts. The session will cover scoping provisions and technical requirements for the various types of elevators and platform lifts addressed. A representative from the National Elevator Industry will join Board staff in conducting the session to highlight various requirements in the referenced American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) safety standards.

The following webinar on June 6 from 2:30 - 4:00 (ET) will cover accessible fire alarm systems, including requirements for visual and audible appliances in the ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards and the referenced National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Fire Alarm Code. Board staff will be joined by a NFPA representative in presenting this material.

The webinar series is made available in cooperation with the ADA National Network. For more information, including registration instructions, visit www.accessibilityonline.org. Questions for the webinars can be submitted in advance through this website. Archived copies of previous Board webinars are also available on the site.

Upcoming Board Webinars
Accessible Elevators and Platform Lifts
May 2, 2013 2:30 - 4:00 (ET)

Accessible Fire Alarm Systems
June 6, 2013 2:30 - 4:00 (ET)


HUD Released Fair Housing App
Fair Housing logoThe U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released a housing discrimination mobile application (app) for iPhones and iPads. Developed by HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity and Hewlett Packard, the free app provides the public and the housing industry a quick and easy way to learn about their housing rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act. It also allows users to file housing discrimination complaints under the Act. The Fair Housing Act bans discrimination in housing on the basis of disability, as well as race, color, gender, and religion in the public and private sectors.

"Having this first fair housing mobile application equips people everywhere with the information they need to combat housing discrimination," said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "We are maximizing the latest technology to make the process for filing fair housing complaints faster and easier and arming our fair housing partners with the information they need to understand their fair housing rights and responsibilities."

In addition to facilitating real-time delivery of housing discrimination complaints to HUD, the app provides information about the fair housing complaint process and access to access HUD's toll-free discrimination hotline and fair housing website. The app is available free from the Apple App store.

 


NCD Issues Report on the Accessibility of Foreign Assistance Programs
NCD sealThe National Council on Disability (NCD), a federal agency that advises the President, Congress, and other federal agencies on disability policy, has issued a report on the accessibility of U.S. foreign assistance programs. The report, "Toward the Full Inclusion of People with Disabilities: Examining the Accessibility of Overseas Facilities and Programs Funded by the United States," summarizes NCD's findings from a review of federal disability laws, the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) disability policy, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as they relate to foreign assistance programs.

The report makes recommendations to help ensure that programs administered by the Department of State, USAID, and the Department of Defense are accessible to persons with disabilities. Based on findings from its review, NCD recommends that:

  • USAID update and expand its Disability Policy;
  • the State Department strengthen its disability rights coverage in its human rights reports; and
  • the Defense Department provide clear guidance to contractors on the application of the ABA Accessibility Standards to construction projects it undertakes in developing countries.

For further information, visit NCD's website.


Access Currents is a free newsletter issued by the Access Board every other month by mail and e-mail. Send questions or comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (800) 872-2253 ext. 0026 (voice) or (800) 993-2822 (TTY). Mailing address: 1331 F Street, N.W., Suite 1000; Washington, D.C. 20004-1111.