Next Board Meeting will be Held January 9
Laptop with Board meeting on screenThe Access Board will hold its next meeting on January 9 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.

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 2 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 9, 1:30 – 3:00
Webcast link:
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.


Upcoming Board Webinars
laptop with Access Board sealEntrances, doors, and gates are key components of access along routes and to buildings, rooms, and spaces. The next webinar in the Access Board's free monthly series will take place January 3 from 2:30 – 4:00 (ET) and will cover scoping and technical requirements in the ADA and ABA Standards for entrances, doors and gates. Presenters will review in detail the specifications for maneuvering clearances at doors using images and animations to better explain the rationale behind these provisions. They will also address recessed doors, automatic doors and gates, doors in a series, door hardware and other topics.

Visit for more information or to register. Questions can be submitted in advance of the session or can be posed during the webinar. Webinar attendees can earn continuing education credits. The webinar series is hosted by the ADA National Network in cooperation with the Board. Archived copies of previous Board webinars are available on the site.

Section 508 Best Practices Webinar
The Board also offers a free webinar series on standards issued under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act which requires access to information and communication technology in the federal sector.

The next webinar in this series will take place take place January 29 from 1:00 to 2:30 (ET) and provide an opportunity for attendees to pose questions to the Access Board on the revised Section 508 Standards. The 508 Standards apply to information and communication technology (ICT) in the federal sector such as computers, telecommunications equipment, printers, software, websites, information kiosks and transaction machines, and electronic documents. Questions are welcome on all sections of the standards, including application and scoping, functional performance criteria, hardware and software requirements, support documentation and services, and referenced standards. Access Board ICT Specialists will also address questions about companion guidelines for telecommunications equipment covered by Section 255 of the Communications Act and any other topics related to the Board's activities on accessible ICT.

For more details or to register for this session, visit The Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series is made available by the Accessibility Community of Practice of the CIO Council in partnership with the Board.


Board to Seek Accessibility Specialists and Support Services Specialist
usajobsIn early January, the Access Board plans to solicit applications for Accessibility Specialists to serve in its Office of Technical and Information Services. The main duties of these mid-level positions (GS 9/11/12) include providing technical assistance and training to the public on the ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards, as well as new Board standards for medical diagnostic equipment. In addition, the Specialists will prepare technical bulletins and guidance on these standards and assist in the review and update of the standards. Several candidates may be selected.

The Board also intends to announce a vacancy for a Support Services Specialist (GS 7) in early January. This career ladder position in the Board’s Office of Administration will involve providing administrative services to support the agency’s operations and management.

The positions will be advertised on the USAJobs website. The Board will issue a notice to its news subscribers when the vacancies are posted.


Senate Bill Addresses Access to Exercise and Fitness Equipment
exerciseSenator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois introduced a bill on December 6 to promote access to fitness facilities for people with disabilities. The “Exercise and Fitness for All Act” calls on the Access Board to develop new guidelines for accessible exercise and fitness equipment within 18 months of passage. These guidelines would address the number and types of equipment that must be accessible. It also directs the Department of Justice to implement these requirements and to cover access to exercise or fitness classes and instruction as well. In addition, the measure would establish tax credits for expenditures in providing access to such equipment.

“No one should be the denied the ability to lead a healthy lifestyle because they have a disability, but many exercise gyms and fitness facilities across our country are not accessible for people with disabilities and do not comply with federal rules,” Senator Duckworth declared in a statement. “I know how frustrating this problem is. This legislation will help lower the barriers that prevent many Americans from accessing gyms across our country.”

Further information on the bill (S.3728) is available at

HBoard Member Karen Braitmayer Receives AIA’s Whitney M. Young Jr. Award
Karen Braitmayer, FAIAThe American Institute of Architects (AIA) awarded Access Board member Karen L. Braitmayer, FAIA, its Whitney M. Young Jr. Award in recognition of her work advancing inclusive and accessible design. Braitmayer is founder of Studio Pacifica in Seattle which advises architects, developers, government agencies, schools, corporations and others on accessible and universal design. She has been a member of the Access Board since 2010 and has served as its Chair.

“By promoting equity and inclusion through her consulting work and education efforts, Braitmayer has created a more inclusive and just environment for all,” the AIA noted in a statement. It called attention to her service on the Access Board where, “[b]y representing the profession at the federal level, Braitmayer has brought her considerable knowledge to bear on reshaping public policy.” The AIA specifically applauded Braitmayer’s leadership in the Board’s publication of helpful guidance, including animations, on accessibility “to assist design professionals in better understanding standards and rationales behind them.

The Whitney M. Young Jr. Award honors architects and organizations that champion social issues such as affordable housing, inclusiveness, or universal access. This is the first time in the award’s 46-year history that a recipient is being honored for work that advances civil rights for persons with disabilities. The award is a tribute to civil rights leader Whitney M. Young, Jr. who urged architects to pursue progressive values through their work and called for greater diversity in the profession in a landmark address to the AIA in 1968. The award will be presented to Braitmayer in June at the AIA’s 2019 Conference on Architecture in Las Vegas. Visit AIA’s website for further information.


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.