Seminar Topics

Seminars for Architects, Civil Engineers, Interior Designers, Landscape Architects, Property Managers & Others

We provide professional seminars and customized presentations intended to help your team, company, or professional organization get educated about important accessibility subjects that affect your business.

The following topics are available, or we can develop a customized seminar based on your specific needs.


Stepping Thru Accessible Businesses

Have you heard people say that ‘they do not need to worry about Access’ – that they are ‘grandfathered in’? This is a common misconception. For older facilities, even if no construction is being done, there is an obligation to implement Barrier Removal that is Readily Achievable. No such thing as ‘grandfathering’! Newer facilities that did not comply with the original ADA are now required to comply with the 2010 ADA. We will discuss common areas of non-compliance and issues of ongoing facilities management thru photographs of complying and non-complying elements.

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Stepping Thru Accessible Elements in Hospitality

Hotels, motels, inns, and restaurants, as well as student housing, are one of the more involved building types. Not only do guest rooms and sleeping rooms have a myriad of parameters but there are a number of other diverse elements, each with their own set of requirements found within one facility. It is not atypical to find retail and restaurants, pools and fitness rooms, business and banquet facilities not to mention valet service and hotel shuttles for even more complexity. We will review the varying requirements both from a scoping perspective and a technical viewpoint.

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Stepping Thru Accessible Environments As We Age

The Silver Tsunami is here. Now that the baby boomer generation is aging, we need to consider how this impacts our built environment. The emphasis is on the micro-elements of the design palette to better address our changing needs as we age, whether we are just slowing down or have a more vigorous disability. This is a general overview of what elements in our environment whether at work, play, or home that can be included now for us to easily age in place later. We will review these items thru photographs in a design sense rather than technical.

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Stepping Thru Accessible Restrooms

Although restrooms have been around forever and the new ADA Standards for over a couple of years, we still have facilities with restrooms that are not completely compliant. The major question is, why? Is it designer? Builder? Or is it an on-going maintenance issue? Each component within a restroom has a myriad of requirements needing to fit together like a puzzle. We will take an in-depth look at the technical Access requirements and how it impacts restroom design, whether single or multi-accommodation.

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Stepping Thru Accessible Routes

Accessible Routes or Path of Travel in new and existing projects are essential aspects of Accessible design. If you can not even get to an area, no matter how accessible that portion is, it will still not be accessible…at least until we invent teleportation. Not only is the route or path required to be accessible but there are many elements that are included within the definition which also are required to be accessible. We will look at a broad view of these elements, as one progresses from the street, thru the site, and into the buildings, touching on their various accessibility requirements.

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Stepping Thru Accessible Signage

Signage is one of the more critical elements for navigating thru our built environment whether interior or exterior. It often appears to be an entirely different language separate from architecture and is relegated to a corner or an after-thought. But signage is something that affects all of us. We will review different sign types and their various requirements in general. We will also closely review the various components each sign type is comprised of leading to a better understanding and integration into our language of architecture.

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Stepping Thru Doors & Gates

Just about every facility has a door or gate that can either welcome us into a building or act as a hindrance — and even one small item can make the difference. The requirements now vary depending upon the type of entry and whether it is swinging, sliding, or just an opening. There are automatic, semi-automatic, and power-assist doors which have further requirements over and above manual doors. As always, the approach has impact on the spatial parameters. In this seminar we will learn how to master all of these requirements to create welcoming entries to buildings and spaces.

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Stepping Thru Existing Buildings

The nature of our practice has changed with a higher proportion of renovation and re-use. Under the ADA Standards the there are differing requirements for new construction versus alteration. Since these are federal laws local public agencies can only offer limited direction. We will review criteria for existing buildings in regard to scoping to acquire a better sense sense of the implications of the law and how it applies. We will cover a range of concepts such as Program Accommodation vs Barrier Removal, Proportional Spending, Safe Harbor, and Path of Travel obligations.

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Stepping Thru Interior Elements

Once you step thru the door into the interior of a building you encounter a countless number of different elements, each with its own parameters, and all are connected by an accessible route. There are requirements not only for the item itself but also how it relates to the facility as a whole. Whether we are talking about furniture or cabinetry, drinking fountains or sinks, machines or telephones, restaurant or assembly seating, they are all overlaid with their own requirements relating to reach ranges, clear floor space, and operating force. We will review a number of these elements regarding their technical and scoping requirements to better increase our language and understanding for accessible design.

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Stepping Thru Multi-Family Housing – An Overview

Multi-family housing is one of the more complex building types. Depending on when the facility was built and where the funds come from and who oversees the project, you can have a multitude of different regulations. In an overview and a scoping sense we will review the ADA Standards, the FHA, UFAS, and California Building Codes both 11A and 11B and compare the requirements for each. We will also touch upon alterations and transition plans and how this affects different types of multi-family housing projects.

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Stepping Thru Parking & Passenger Drop-Offs & EVCS

In this day and age we are not only pedestrians but we are also closely tied to vehicular transportation. And of course there are a myriad of requirements for this as well, starting from the point where we are transitioning from passengers to pedestrians. Whether it is for parking, passenger drop-off, valet service, or transportation such as taxis, buses, or shuttles, as well as plugging in our electric vehicles, there are differing requirements for space and slopes, all or which is required to connect with an accessible route. We will review the requirements for each of these types of vehicular to pedestrian transitions.

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Stepping Thru Vertical Heights

For someone who has a disability or is elderly, ascending or descending across levels is a key mobility challenge. We often address this by providing an element such as a ramp or elevator that takes people from one level to another but often these features alone do not solve the problem. We will look at options such as sloped walkways, curb ramps, pedestrian ramps, elevators, and lifts. We will also examine the parameters and requirements for each of these elements, as well as how to design and situate them for optimum access.

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Concerned about Accessibility?

Our expertise can help you formulate a plan to address issues, avoid problems, and get educated.

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Or call us at (562) 426-9363

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Concerned About Accessibility?

“I have always enjoyed and been highly interested in your publications and seminars over the years. Your publications are required reading by all my staff and are a given contribution to the success of our designs.”

– Craig R. Smith AIA, CRSA Architecture