Door Openers – and Closers!
When was the last time you had trouble getting in the front door of a business? You may not have noticed a few pesky steps or an extra bit of exertion to enter the building. But, for someone in a wheelchair, or a frail, elderly person, it might as well have a “Closed” sign on the door.
Luckily, there is an organization that helps individuals gain access to commercial entities by helping builders, architects and engineers understand the rules and regulations of accessibility. Guiding this process from the ground up, the Accessibility Professionals Association (APA) can help a building owner design a structure that intuitively accommodates many types of disabilities.
Architects and engineers can take advantage of classes and conferences offered by APA that sort out and streamline standards provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is commonly known as the ADA. This landmark legislation, signed into law on July 26, 1990, prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else.
Despite its widespread acceptance, violations occur regularly. In Texas, Registered Accessibility Specialists are licensed by the State to ensure buildings have had their building plans reviewed and inspected to ensure compliance with accessibility regulations. These rules apply not only to new buildings but to buildings which undergo substantial renovations.
Savvy business owners are wise to keep their doors wide open to this growing group of people with disabilities. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that nearly one in five people have a disability. And, that number will reflect the growing number of baby boomers who will enlist the help of canes, walkers, and wheelchairs as they pursue an active lifestyle in retirement. Research has shown that adding simple touches like ramps, better lighting and larger signage, which are used by many, is appreciated by many and often helps create better overall designs.
In fact, one small item that helps the disabled come through the doors is ironically called a “closer” – a mechanical device that keeps a door open for 20 seconds. This bit of hands-free time is welcomed by all who enter. For more information on how you can keep “Open for business” meaning open for all, contact Accessibility Professionals Association (APA) http://www.accessibilityprofessionals.orgHire a Professional
APA Conference Highlighted in ICC eNews
Why Hire an APA Accessibility Professional?
Complying with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS), and other building accessibility codes and requirements can be a complex and challenging process. An APA professional can help you smoothly navigate through every phase of your project to achieve accessibility and avoid any costly headaches arising from noncompliance. Whether it’s a public building or privately owned structure leased or occupied by government agencies, a place of public accommodation, or a commercial facility, an APA member can help with accessibility planning and compliance.
Search our Find a Professional page for APA specialists.
From the article:
The Accessibility Professionals Association (APA) held a successful Annual Conference & Expo in February featuring three days of national and local speakers and training. A Premium Sponsor of the APA Annual Conference, the Code Council spoke with attendees on the latest code publications and documents during the expo. Courses offered by the APA at national and regional training events receive ICC continuing education credits. ICC members are welcome to join next year's APA Annual Conference being held Jan. 30–Feb. 1, 2019, in Austin, Texas.
To read more from ICC eNews.
To learn more about the International Code Council.
APA Will Be at AIA Conference in NYC in June, 2018
Board Members Paul Glenn and Caroll Pruitt will promote APA and its members at our booth on Thursday and Friday, June 21 and 22. If you plan to attend, stop and say hello.
Continuing Education Classes (CE/AIA Credits)
APA is a group of Professionals dedicated to accessibility in all aspects of the physical experience for persons with disabilities. Thus, APA offers related education on a regular basis during the year which is open to members, as well as the public.
August 10- Plano, TX or via Webinar
Plano-APA Regional CE Training-Webinars- 4-8 Hour Option - 8/10/2018
Be an Exhibitor or Sponsor for the 2019 Annual Conference & Expo near Austin, TX
When you attend the APA Annual Meeting as a exhibitor, you get exclusive face-to-face time with over 200 Accessibility Specialists and related professionals – those who regularly consult and collaborate with architects, builders, and others who help maintain accessibility in the built environment. The Annual Meeting not only provides you with a unique, in-person environment to discuss and promote your products and services, it offers a cost-effective way to raise your company’s profile through strategic name placement and public recognition. Click the links to see the most recent 2018 Conference Schedule
Guidelines and draft conference schedules for the January 30-February 1, 2019 APA Annual Conference & Expo will be available no later than September 1, 2018. For questions contact our staff at firstname.lastname@example.org
Accessibility Professionals Association (APA)
You’re Invited! Join us today to take advantage of the many membership benefits available. APA is an association of professionals focusing on accessibility in the built environment. We are a dynamic and diverse organization open to all professionals interested in understanding and maintaining accessibility in the United States and around the globe. We are the premier provider of Continuing Education (CEU) in accessibility standards and regulations. See more About Us !
Four questions Google Maps has for YOU
Google Maps offers a handy way to navigate but often leaves mobility-impaired people wondering, unsure if their route will accommodate wheelchairs, walkers or other adaptive equipment. Now, Google is asking their users to answer four questions related to accessibility to improve and increase knowledge:
Is there a wheelchair-accessible entrance?
Is there wheelchair-accessible seating?
Is there wheelchair-accessible parking?
Is there a wheelchair-accessible elevator?
For those who may not understand the implications, Google furnishes a description for each of these questions. While rather basic, users are able to refine the information with comments, even noting helpful details like the number of steps, location of nearby elevators, or restroom size.
Thanks to a brigade of voluntary contributors, information is added daily about transit systems, parks and trails, local eateries and businesses. Ideally, Google hopes to add Street View imagery of transit stations so that individuals with many types of disabilities can gauge their level of access and better plan their trips.
But, for the 12 million (and counting!) places available via the maps, noting accessible features will take time. Google officially rolled out the accessible maps for London, New York, Tokyo, Mexico City, Boston, and Sydney this spring. However, anyone can add information for other locations. It is also easy to become a local Google Guide, and the company encourages Meet-Up events to connect like-minded guides who see the benefits of marking routes of all sorts for the full use of all people.
For ambitious trail markers, Google loans out its Google Street View trekker cameras to organizations or municipalities that want to show the “street view” type equivalent off-road. For many, the device enables armchair travelers to skip the hike and enjoy the scenery digitally.
Google notes that some 65 million individuals use wheelchairs. While this limited information about wheelchair access may not help everyone navigate, it opens the doors for users to participate and help make the world a little wider for everyone.
APA Jim Boyce Memorial Scholarship Becomes National Scholarship
Following in the transition footsteps of TRASA to APA, we have officially expanded the JBMS Scholarship from being limited only to Texas residents to now being a nationwide scholarship! We have changed the scholarship Guidelines and are getting listed on several scholarship databases so deserving students are aware of our scholarship. See our Jim Boyce Scholarship page for the latest news!