Inspector’s CornerPosted on - Monday, August 3rd, 2015
July 26th, 2015 was the 25th anniversary of the ADA. On July 23rd the AIA Dallas organized an awareness day exercise called “Wheelchair in A Day” where we asked 10 architects to sit in a wheelchair and record their experiences throughout the day. The day was a huge success and the stories they retold were so important. This newsletter will give you a few examples of the participants.
Thank you to Bob Bullis, AIA; Beth Brandt, AIA; Daivd Dillard, FAIA; Bob Borson, AIA; Peter Darby AIA, Laurel Stone, Amanda Adler, Jason Dugas, AIA for participating and for sharing your experience with the rest of us!
Traveling by Airplane on a wheelchair
AIA Dallas President Bob Bullis, AIA participated in the “Wheelchair for a Day” event. He had a meeting in Houston which he decided to keep. So he flew in his wheelchair and tweeted about his experience. We asked him what was his biggest challenge. He told us about his trials with TSA….and I will not get into the “search” pat down he received…Southwest Airlines was very accommodating, and allowed him to remain in the chair so he could experience what it was like. He got to go to the front of the line and board first.
He liked the feel of the Terrazzo flooring the best….easier to push on. But noticed that even the slightest slope was hard to navigate
Being in the office and going out to lunch
Two architects experienced their day in a wheelchair: Bob Borson, AIA and David Dillard, FAIA
Bob Borson, AIA experienced his day in the office doing his typical duties: making copies, taking drawings from his car to his desk, and even going out to lunch. All a very eye opening experiences….read his blog post for a more detailed account
I bet Bob was glad that the doors of his office had the proper widths and maneuvering clearances
When Bob wen out to lunch here is what he experienced
“Next challenge? Going out to lunch. Again, long arms to the rescue, but I am acutely aware of how freakishly long my arms are and as a result, I am acutely aware of how difficult going through a cafeteria line would be for people who don’t have the physical proportions of a simian. “
Taking the tray back to his table was a big challenge…glad he didn’t drop his food!
when he got to his table he noticed that there was no place for a wheelchair except at the end….he made everyone move and find a better table (It’s good to be the boss)
David Dillard, FAIA also stayed in his office and also experienced his daily routine in a wheelchair. Meetings are easier when you are the designer of the office and make accommodations…Good job David!
David also had doors he had to maneuver…although his experience was different since he had an electric wheelchair
The City of Dallas didn’t plan properly the locations of stop signs and fire hydrants. David found them right in the middle of his accessible route. I bet those were fun to maneuver.
At lunch they found a restaurant with a wheelchair lift that accommodated him so he could dine with his colleagues
Experiences like these makes architects and designers more sensitive to the people they are designing for.
Taking public transportation
The last example was of our friend Peter Darby, AIA who decided to spend his day in a wheelchair navigating the public transportation system in the City of Dallas
Peter rode in buses, light rail, taxis and even Uber
“Quite a few impediments today. Blocked, Crooked pavements or sidewalks to nowhere! “
He experienced getting onto light rail via ramps
Getting assistance from rail operators
It takes so much longer to get from point A to point B when you are in a wheelchair taking public transportation, but most people with disabilities, especially visually impaired people use public transportation to get around. It is so important that we have these accommodations to enable them to be independent and as sense of dignity and empowerment.
Upcoming Continuing Education Opportunities
August 7, 2015 Accessibility Professionals Association Regional training Plano, Texas
8:00 – 10:00 am- Difference between TAS and ADA Standards- 2 CE/LU/HSW
10:15 am -11:15 pm- Retail Stores and Spaces- TDLR 1 CE #13464, AIA #155 1 LU/HSW- Detail Review of Retail Spaces Barrier Removal;Common errors; Path of Travel Requirements; Retail Accessible Parking and Accessible Routes,
An ADA Case Study of Existing & Remodeled Interiors
11:00 a.m. and 1:00PM
If you are interested in Building Code seminars check out my colleague Shahla Layendecker with SSTL Codes
If you want to learn more about these standards, be sure to check out my books:
“The ADA Companion Guide” “Applying the ADA” published by Wiley.
They are available for sale now. (also available as an e-book)
If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please feel free to contact me anytime.
Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240