September 14, 2010


Karen L. Braitmayer, FAIA


Howard A. Rosenblum

President Barack Obama recently appointed Karen L. Braitmayer, FAIA, of Seattle and Howard A. Rosenblum of Chicago as members of the U.S. Access Board.

Braitmayer is a registered architect and principal with Studio Pacifica, Ltd., an architectural consulting firm focused on accessibility and accessible design that she co-founded in 1993.  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 (ADA) and the Fair Housing Act, and on compliance with state codes in housing, commercial, retail, institutional and educational projects.  Braitmayer served as a member of the Washington State Building Code Council from 1994 to 2001 and remains active in the development and update of Washington State's accessibility code.

Rosenblum is a senior attorney at Equip for Equality, a nonprofit organization responsible for implementing the Protection and Advocacy System in the State of Illinois.  He was recently named Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), a position he will assume next April, and has served as NAD's Public Policy Chair since 2006.  An attorney for 18 years, Rosenblum has focused his legal practice on disability rights and special education.  He has been involved in major cases under the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and other laws protecting the rights of people with disabilities.  Rosenblum is the co-founder and Chairperson of the Midwest Center on Law and the Deaf, an organization dedicated to ensuring equal access to the legal system for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

The new appointees succeed Board members Joseph A. Cirillo, R.A., of Middletown, Rhode Island and Elizabeth A. Stewart of Winter Haven, Florida.

The U.S. Access Board is an independent Federal agency that provides leadership in accessible design under the ADA and other laws.  Its governing Board is structured to function as a coordinating body among Federal agencies and to directly represent the public, particularly people with disabilities.  The Board is comprised of 13 members from the public appointed by the President and representatives from 12 Federal departments.