U.S. Access Board Staff Present at Conferences, Webinars, and Meetings
U.S. Access Board staff presented at conferences, webinars, and meetings to enhance participants’ knowledge on accessibility standards and advance inclusion for people with disabilities. Board staff presented on various topics, such as accessibility in the federal workplace, accessible voting and polling places, and the guidelines and standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 (ABA), and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
In January, the Board held the virtual public event “Equity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities.” Accessibility Specialist Bobby Stinnette moderated the event and Training Coordinator Bill Botten and Senior Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Accessibility Specialist Kathy Eng presented on the ADA Standards and Section 508, respectively, including the types of medical facilities, spaces, elements, and equipment covered under the ADA and Section 508. A summary of the presentations and access to the recording can be found in the Board’s January 13 news article.
On January 26, Dave Yanchulis, Director of Office of Technical and Information Services, gave two presentations. His presentation “Common Sources of Confusion and Inclusive Customer Service” to Accessibility Professionals Association clarified provisions in the ADA Standards that are prone to misinterpretation, including application of the standards in new construction and alterations, work areas, dining surfaces, toilet rooms, and signs. The presentation also reviewed requirements in the ADA Standards for sales and services counters, check-out aisles, self-service shelves, teller and service windows, and food and beverage dispensers to ensure that goods and serves are accessible to all customers. He also presented to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Learning Community, reviewing the ABA and accessibility requirements for federal facilities, including employee workspaces.
On February 7, Yanchulis presented a two-part session “2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design” at the 2022 Winter ADA Coordinators Virtual Conference. Yanchulis provided an overview of the 2010 ADA Standards, reviewed scoping and technical requirements for new construction and alterations, and discussed practical strategies to ensure ADA compliance for building projects.
On February 15, Executive Director Sachin Pavithran presented on the panel “Government Resources to Help Voters with Disabilities” at Arizona Center for Disability Law’s African American Conference on Disabilities (AACD). Pavithran discussed Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and resources related to accessible voting and polling places. He also responded to questions from attendees. The recordings of the conference’s sessions are available on AACD’s Facebook page. On March 14, Pavithran will present at the American Council for the Blind’s (ACB) D.C. Leadership Conference. More information about ACB’s Leadership Conference can be found on ACB’s website.
Botten and Senior Accessibility Specialist Tim Creagan presented “Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards and Section 508 Overview” to the Social Security Administration as part of the agency’s efforts to meet the requirements of Executive Order on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce on February 16. Creagan reviewed Section 508 Standards and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Success Criteria. He detailed the connections between Section 508 Standards and WCAG 2.0 and acquisitions to ensure federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, and use accessible information and communication technology. Creagan also discussed the Board’s ICT Testing Baseline for Web Accessibility that sets minimum testing criteria and evaluation guidance to determine if web content meets the 508 Standards. Botten provided an overview of the ABA Accessibility Standards that require buildings or facilities that were designed, built, or altered with federal funds or leased by federal agencies to be accessible to persons with disabilities. Botten also covered general exceptions, alterations, and accessible design for many common elements and spaces.
Botten also presented on February 24 to facility staff at several interior regions of the National Park Service on minimum requirements in the ABA accessibility standards, including the requirements for picnic and camping units as well as highlighting the Boards technical assistance resources and key guidance for federal facilities.
Board staff will continue to engage in conferences, webinars, and events in March. Accessibility Specialist Randall Duchesneau will present on the webinar panel “Accessible and Barrier Free AVs and Infrastructure” for Society of Automotive Analysts on March 9 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (ET). This panel will address how to make autonomous vehicles (AVs) and infrastructure accessible for people with disabilities. Registration is on Society of Automotive Analysts’ website.
Duchesneau’s presentation continues his and the Board’s work on AVs, which includes its four-part series of virtual meetings on making AVs accessible to passengers with disabilities that was held in Spring 2021. All four sessions in the series are archived and available to the public on the Board’s AV webpage. The Board also produced a publicly available Summary Report on the series.
Technical Assistance Coordinator Scott Windley will present on the panel “Sketching a Framework for Accessible Streetscape Design” at the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Technical Conference on March 15 from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (ET). Registration for the conference is available on ITE’s conference website.
At the end of the month, several Board staff will participate in the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Equity and Accessibility for Individuals with Disabilities Summit from March 29 – 31. On the first day, Pavithran will moderate the roundtable “Disability Inclusion for Organizations Without Walls” and participate in the keynote roundtable “The Transition Toward Sustainable Digital Accessibility for All.” At the Summit, Botten will also present on the panel “Physical Accessibility in the Federal Workplace” and provide an overview of the ABA, minimum requirements and responsibilities of agencies, and strategies to manage barriers. Eng will present on the panel “Steps for Proactive Digital Accessibility” and discuss how agencies can integrate digital accessibility into their day-to-day work, including making accessible websites and documents.
The Board continues to provide eighteen free webinars per year in partnership with the ADA National Network and the Great Lakes ADA Center. Twelve webinars are part of the AccessibilityOnline Series and six webinars are part of the Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series. Registered webinar attendees can receive continuing education credit on the live webinars and some archived sessions in the archive. Visit the Board’s Trainings & Webinars webpage for more information.
The Board also provides technical guidance on its accessibility guidelines and standards and accessible design through its toll-free helpline (1-800-872-2253) and by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Accessibility specialists are available to answer questions on accessibility as it relates to the built environment, outdoor sites, streets and sidewalks, transportation vehicles and vessels, information and communication technology, and medical diagnostic equipment.