With deep sorrow, the U.S. Access Board announces the passing of former Board Member Carl Lewis. Appointed to the Board in 1996 by President Bill Clinton, Lewis used his tenure with the agency to advance its mission and was a key contributor to revising and updating its accessibility guidelines for buildings and facilities covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA). He also was elected to serve as the Board’s Vice-Chair in 2002. Lewis passed on June 19, 2023.
“Carl was an inspiration to all of us in the disability community,” remarked Access Board Executive Director Sachin Pavithran. “He was crucial to the Access Board’s mission and continually strived to teach about accessible design, the ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards, and inclusion of people with disabilities. His contributions will impact generations to come.”
Lewis dedicated his work to bringing accessibility to the forefront of conversations on architecture and design. He always promoted codes and standards, particularly in higher education curriculum, but he also emphasized that learners need to understand why and how accessibility standards and codes are needed, at both the technical level and general level, and how people with disabilities use spaces and elements. At the time of his passing, Lewis was a professor in the School of Architecture at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
The Access Board sends its condolences to Carl’s family and friends.