Board to Hold Next Meeting January 13
Laptop with Board meeting on screenThe Access Board will hold its next meeting January 13 from 1:30 – 3:00 (ET) at the Board's conference space in downtown Washington, D.C. The public is welcome to attend in person or through a live webcast of the meeting. The meeting agenda includes reports from Board committees and the Executive Director, as well as updates on agency rulemaking and other activities.

A public comment period will be held during the final 15 minutes of the meeting. Those interested in making comments in person or by phone should send an email to Rose Bunales at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by January 6 with “Access Board meeting - Public Comment” in the subject line. Please include your name, organization, state, and topic of your comment in the body of the message. 

Meeting of the U.S. Access Board      
January 13, 1:30 – 3:00 (ET)
Webcast link: www.access-board.gov/webcast
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.

 


Board Training Coordinator Peggy Greenwell to Retire
Peggy GreenwellPeggy Greenwell, the Board’s Training Coordinator and expert on recreation accessibility, will retire from government service at the end of December. Greenwell joined the Board as an Accessibility Specialist in 1992 and led the development of accessibility guidelines for recreation facilities. She organized and facilitated the work of the Board’s Recreation Access Advisory Committee as well as regulatory negotiation committees on play areas and outdoor developed areas. She served as lead staff on subsequent Board rulemaking that established new accessibility guidelines for recreation facilities, including amusement rides, areas of sport activity, golf courses, swimming pools, and boating and fishing facilities. She also headed separate rulemakings on play areas and on trails, picnic and camping areas, and other outdoor developed areas.

For the past 18 years, Greenwell also oversaw the Board’s training program on its accessibility guidelines and standards. During her tenure, she coordinated over 1,500 training sessions that reached a combined audience of almost 150,000 attendees. In 2010, she implemented the agency’s popular program of monthly webinars.

The Board commends Greenwell for her 23 years of dedicated service to accessibility, particularly in the realm of recreation, and her expansion and promotion of its training services.

 


New Attorneys Join Board Staff
The Board recently hired two attorney advisors to serve in its General Counsel’s Office. Wendy Marshall and Frances Spiegel, who started work on November 30, will help advance the Board’s active rulemaking agenda.

Marshall served as a legal counsel for the U.S. Army in Fairbanks, Alaska where she represented members of the military in the Medical Evaluation Board review process at each of the Army’s three posts in the state. Previously, she was a law clerk for Alaska Superior Court Judge Michael MacDonald and for Maryland Circuit Court Judge Amy Bragunier. Marshall received her law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law. A native of Seattle, Marshall attended Seattle University where she majored in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Forensic Psychology.

Spiegel previously served as an attorney advisor in the Department of Justice’s Honors Program and later as an appeals officer with the Department of Homeland Security. Most recently, Spiegel worked at a private divorce mediation firm in Rockville, Maryland. Before pursuing her law degree, Spiegel was a grant writer and administrator at a public university in Miami, Florida. Spiegel earned a law degree at the University of California Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. She holds a master’s degree in International Studies from Florida International University and a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona.

Both attorney advisors will assist the Board’s rulemaking efforts that are currently underway. These include its development of new guidelines for public rights-of-ways, passenger vessels, and medical diagnostic equipment, as well as the refresh of accessibility requirements for information and communication technology and transportation vehicles.

 


Upcoming Board Webinars
laptop with Access Board sealThe next webinar in the Board's free monthly series will take place January 7 from 2:30 – 4:00 (ET) and will review requirements in the ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards for protruding objects along circulation paths. These provisions limit the protrusion of mounted and free-standing objects to prevent hazards to people with vision impairments. Questions can be submitted in advance of the session (total limited to 25) or can be posed during the webinar.

For more information, including registration instructions, visit www.accessibilityonline.org. Webinar attendees can earn continuing education credits (CEUs). Archived copies of previous Board webinars are available on the site. The webinar series is made available in cooperation with the ADA National Network.

 


DOT Exploring Negotiated Rulemaking on Air Travel Access Issues
DOT sealThe Department of Transportation (DOT) is considering undertaking a negotiated rulemaking under the Air Carrier Access Act to address issues impacting air travel for passengers with disabilities. These issues include access to inflight entertainment, accommodation of medical oxygen, policies on service animals, restroom accessibility, seating accommodations, and carrier reporting of disability service requests.

As outlined in a recent notice in the Federal Register, DOT is exploring the feasibility of forming an advisory committee of stakeholders and affected parties to address these issues as a regulatory negotiation. Under this process, committee members would work together to reach consensus on regulatory solutions to the issues. Likely committee members would include representatives from advocacy groups, airlines, airports, airline vendors providing wheelchair assistance, aircraft manufacturers, companies that manufacture and provide content for inflight entertainment systems, and service animal training organizations, as well as other federal agencies with a regulatory interest, such as the Access Board, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Communications Commission. If consensus is reached, DOT would then proceed with rulemaking and publish for public comment a proposed rule based on the committee’s recommendations.

DOT is examining the feasibility of this rulemaking approach and is currently accepting public comments on the subject until January 6, 2016, as indicated in its notice. For further information, contact Kathleen Blank Riether of the DOT Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (202) 366-9342.

 


FTA Seeks Comment on Proposed ADA Circulars
bus with liftThe Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has issued detailed guidance on achieving access to public transportation under the ADA. The 300-page ADA Circular explains and clarifies requirements in DOT regulations that govern public transit systems, including accessibility standards for transportation facilities and vehicles. It does not alter or add to these requirements. Subjects addressed include general mandates, policies, service animals, fixed route and demand responsive services, paratransit eligibility, transit facilities, vehicle acquisition, passenger vessels, and other modes of transportation.

“We wrote our ADA Circular to provide guidance to transit agencies as well as transit riders about what’s required to ensure that everyone has the ability to travel,” stated FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan. “We must ensure that transportation options are fully accessible and meet the mobility needs of our growing population.”

The new guidance includes examples of good practices, explanatory scenarios, and checklists to help transit agencies fulfill their responsibilities under the ADA. It also covers obligations under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act that apply to recipients of FTA financial assistance.

 


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.