Friday, July 30, 2010

Who moved my cheese? Summary of the changes to the ADA


These are exerpts from the Department of Jusctice Fact Sheets

The Department of Justice (the Department) has amended its regulation implementing title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which applies to public accommodations (private businesses that fall within one of twelve categories established by the statute) and commercial facilities. The ADA requires the Department to publish ADA design standards that are consistent with the guidelines published by the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board). Therefore, the title III rule adopts new Standards for Accessible Design that are consistent with the ADA/ABA Accessibility Guidelines developed by the Access Board. The final rule also amends the existing title III regulation to make it consistent with current policies and published guidance, to reflect the Department's experience since the regulation was first published in 1991, and to address and respond to comments received from the public in response to the Department's 2008 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).

Adoption of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design.

The Department has adopted revised ADA design standards that include the relevant chapters of the Access Board's 2004 ADA/ABA Accessibility Guidelines as modified by specific provisions of this rule. To minimize compliance burdens on entities subject to more than one legal standard, these design standards have been harmonized with the Federal standards implementing the Architectural Barriers Act and with the private sector model codes that are adopted by most States.

Effective Date.

The rule will become effective six months after publication in the Federal Register. Eighteen months after publication, compliance with the 2010 Standards will be required for new construction and alterations and barrier removal. In the period between the effective date and the compliance date, covered entities may choose between the 1991 Standards and the 2010 Standards. Covered entities that should have complied with the 1991 Standards during any new construction or alteration of facilities or elements, but have not done so by 18 months after the date of publication of the final rule, must comply with the 2010 Standards.

Element by Element Safe Harbor.

The rule includes a general "safe harbor" under which elements in covered facilities that were built or altered in compliance with the 1991 Standards would not be required to be brought into compliance with the 2010 Standards until the elements were subject to a planned alteration. A similar safe harbor applies to elements associated with the "path of travel" to an altered area.


The rule provides guidance on the sale of tickets for accessible seating, the sale of season tickets, the hold and release of accessible seating to persons other than those who need accessible seating, ticket pricing, prevention of the fraudulent purchase of accessible seating, and the ability to purchase multiple tickets when buying accessible seating. It requires a venue operator to accommodate an individual with a disability who acquired inaccessible seating on the secondary ticket market only when there is unsold accessible seating for that event.

Service Animals.

The rule defines "service animal" as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. The rule states that other animals, whether wild or domestic, do not qualify as service animals. Dogs that are not trained to perform tasks that mitigate the effects of a disability, including dogs that are used purely for emotional support, are not service animals. The final rule also clarifies that individuals with mental disabilities who use service animals that are trained to perform a specific task are protected by the ADA. The rule permits the use of trained miniature horses as alternatives to dogs, subject to certain limitations. To allow flexibility in situations where using a horse would not be appropriate, the final rule does not include miniature horses in the definition of "service animal."

Wheelchairs and Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices.

The rule adopts a two-tiered approach to mobility devices, drawing distinctions between wheelchairs and "other power-driven mobility devices." "Other power-driven mobility devices" include a range of devices not designed for individuals with mobility impairments, such as the Segway® PT, but which are often used by individuals with disabilities as their mobility device of choice. Wheelchairs (and other devices designed for use by people with mobility impairments) must be permitted in all areas open to pedestrian use. "Other power-driven mobility devices" must be permitted to be used unless the covered entity can demonstrate that such use would fundamentally alter its programs, services, or activities, create a direct threat, or create a safety hazard. The rule also lists factors to consider in making this determination. This approach accommodates both the legitimate business interest in the safe operation of a facility and the growing use of the Segway® PT as a mobility device by returning veterans and others who are using the Segway® PT as their mobility aid of choice.

Effective Communication.

The rule includes video remote interpreting (VRI) services as a kind of auxiliary aid that may be used to provide effective communication. VRI is an interpreting service that uses video conference technology over dedicated lines or wireless technology offering a high-speed, wide-bandwidth video connection that delivers high-quality video images. To ensure that VRI is effective, the Department has established performance standards for VRI and requires training for users of the technology and other involved individuals so that they may quickly and efficiently set up and operate the VRI system.

Reservations Made by Places of Lodging.

The rule establishes requirements for reservations made by places of lodging, including procedures that will allow individuals with disabilities to make reservations for accessible guest rooms during the same hours and in the same manner as other guests, and requirements that will require places of lodging to identify and describe accessible features of a guest room, to hold back the accessible guest rooms for people with disabilities until all other guest rooms of that type have been rented, and to ensure that a reserved accessible guest room is removed from all reservations systems so that it is not inadvertently released to someone other than the person who reserved the accessible room. The final rule limits the obligations of third-party reservation operators that do not themselves own and operate places of lodging. In addition, to allow the hospitality industry appropriate time to change reservation systems, the final rule gives places of lodging 18 months from the date of publication to come into compliance with these requirements.

Timeshares, Condominium Hotels, and Other Places of Lodging.

The rule provides that timeshare and condominium properties that operate like hotels are subject to title III, providing guidance about the factors that must be present for a facility that is not an inn, motel, or hotel to qualify as a place of lodging. The final rule limits obligations for units that are not owned or substantially controlled by the public accommodation that operates the place of lodging. Such units are not subject to reservation requirements relating to the "holding back" of accessible units. They are also not subject to barrier removal and alterations requirements if the physical features of the guest room interiors are controlled by their individual owners rather than by a third party operator.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The US Department of Justice has adopted the new ADAAG

Six year after the Access Board passed an amended Accessibility Design Guidelines (ADAAG), and 20 years after the ADA became the law of the land, the Department of Justice has adopted the revised Guidelines that the US Access Board suggested.  The Attorney General signed the amendments to the Title III ADA regulations this last Friday July 23, 2010.  President Obama made the announcement on July 26, 2010.  See the video

Essentially this change will help to harmonize the Model Code standards (ANSI) with the ADAAG.  There is a new numbering system, new graphics and even new ranges in the guidelines.  These adopted changes to the law will not take effect for another six months, and designers and owners can choose to keep using the 1991 guidelines for another 18 months.  This will allow the projects that are in the design process or even the construction process to not have to change their designs in mid stream.  But after 18 months, they will have to comply with the new guidelines.

There are also some safe harbor provisions  which allow buildings that are fully compliant with the 1991 ADAAG to remain compliant until they decide to do an alteration to the building.  There are many other provisions that are worth reading even if the guidelines will not be in effect for a few months.  My book, The ADA Companion Guide, has a section of the changes from the 1991 to the new rules and it explains with photographs and commentary what the new guidelines require.

New provisions were added for Judicial facilities, amusement rides, outdoor recreation facilities , exercise machines and equipment, fishing piers, golf facilities, play areas, swimming pools, shooting facilities and firing range and residential fcilities like condos and time shares.  There are also provisions for children heights, as well as for scooters and motorized wheel chairs that were not in the original ADAAG.

This will be an interesting process....let's all learn it together!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Announcement from DART about Mockingbird Station

Level Boarding Project Continues at Mockingbird Station,

Saturday, July 31 and Sunday, August 1

Mon, 26 Jul 2010 11:00:00 -0500

Construction to prepare all remaining DART Rail station platforms for new Super Light Rail Vehicles continues at Mockingbird Station.

Trains will not stop at Mockingbird Station on:

Saturday, July 31, and Sunday, Aug. 1

Saturday, Aug. 7, & Sunday, Aug. 8*

(*if necessary)

Shuttle buses will operate between Mockingbird and the three adjacent rail stations - Cityplace to the south, and both Lovers Lane (Red Line) and White Rock (Blue Line) to the north.

Happy 20th Anniversary to ADA!

Today, July 26, 1990 is the 20th anniversary of the Civil Rights Law the Americans with Disabilities Act.  This Act was signed into law by President George Bush in 1990.  It signified the indenpendence day for the millions of disabled Americans.  Join us to celebrate all day at the different functions throught Dallas and Plano Texas.

In Washington, DC my friend and colleague Kristi Thomas attended the first of the ADA Celebrations last night to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It was hosted by AAPD (American Association of People with Disabilities)

This is what she told me:
“ There were over 1300 people there, many of whom are disabled. They had some VERY powerful speakers say some VERY powerful things and then the party began!
They had a band called "Flame" which is made of up 11 people with disabilities ... all talented artists. They played mostly classic rock and we watched people with varying disabilities out on the dance floor celebrating their independence.
That's what the ADA is for them, you know ... independence. When I stood on the White House lawn 20 years ago at the signing of the ADA ... it was a declaration of independence for an incredible group of often forgotten people.”

On July 26, 1990 the disabled community won a huge victory in their fight for autonomy and independence. For many years people that were disabled could not find gainful employment, shop by themselves, enter government buildings or even go to parks. Today we celebrate this Victory.  If you have any questions, call me at 214-403-8714

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Let the Festivities begin

The 20th Anniversary of ADA Celebrations began this past Friday in Washington D.C.  Here is the transcript from the kick-off

Attorney General Eric Holder Speaks at the Department of Justice's ADA 20th Anniversary Commemoration

Washington, D.C. ~ Friday, July 23, 2010

"Thank you, Tom [Perez]. I appreciate your kind words, but I am especially grateful for your committed and passionate leadership of the Civil Rights Division. You and your team have done an outstanding job of revitalizing the Civil Rights Division, and renewing the spirit of the law we’ve gathered here to celebrate.

Today, we commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the legacy of progress that the ADA helped to create. It’s an honor to celebrate this milestone with so many friends, colleagues, and partners – and with many of the leaders who called for and helped to develop this landmark legislation. In particular, I want to thank today’s panelists – a group of advocates who were instrumental in the ADA’s creation and implementation. Thank you all for being here and for sharing your unique experiences and perspectives with us.

I’m also pleased that we are joined by three former leaders of the Department’s Civil Right Division: Steve Pollak, John Dunne, and Jim Turner. And I’m glad to welcome two members of our extended DOJ family: Cheryl Sensenbrenner and Ginny Thornburgh.

I’m also grateful that we are joined by Tony Coelho – a good friend, a long-time advocate for equal opportunity, and a principal author of the ADA. And it’s a special privilege to welcome back to this Department one of my predecessors, my first boss as a lawyer – and, as many of you will remember, one of the ADA’s greatest champions – Attorney General Dick Thornburgh.

In July of 1990, Attorney General Thornburgh said that the ADA’s enactment amounted to “another emancipation . . . one more opportunity to further guarantee equal protection under the law for every citizen of this nation.”

With those wonderful words – and guided by that vision – he set the tone for all that would come. Over the past two decades, the ADA helped create revolutionary improvements in the lives of Americans with disabilities. But just as important, the ADA helped improve our society’s understanding of what Americans with disabilities could accomplish when given the chance to participate on equal terms. The work of the Justice Department – the work done by many of you – helped to drive this progress.

In the 1990s, the Department compelled facilities in every corner of America to provide access to people with disabilities; tackled HIV/AIDS discrimination head on; secured full health-care access for deaf Americans and others suffering from hearing loss; accommodated children with disabilities in child care programs; and agreed with the Olympic Games Committee to ensure that sports venues under construction for the 1996 Olympics and Paralympics in Atlanta were fully accessible to fans with disabilities.

These were just a few of many breakthroughs that helped to rewrite legal paradigms, enlighten attitudes, and change lives. These actions were also a model for the aggressive – and appropriate – enforcement of the ADA.

In July of 2010, I’m pleased to report that the Justice Department has returned to this model. At every level of our work – and in cooperation with our partners across the Administration – we have placed a renewed focus on enforcing the ADA. And we’re seeing results.

Our Civil Rights Division is leading this work, and – in recent months – has settled several lawsuits alleging egregious discrimination against people with disabilities. The Department has renewed its commitment to the aggressive enforcement of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Olmstead – recognizing the right of Americans with disabilities to access the care and services they need in their own homes and communities – with suits against three states and participation in suits against another eight.

We’re also working hard to ensure that the ADA keeps up with technological advances that were – quite simply – unimaginable 20 years ago. Just as these quantum leaps can help all of us, they can also set us back – if regulations are not updated or compliance codes become too confusing to implement. We won’t let that happen. To avoid this, the Department will soon publish four advanced notices of proposed rulemaking regarding accessibility requirements for websites, movies, equipment and furniture, and 911 call-taking technologies.

And because, at its core, the ADA is about ensuring that all Americans can participate fully in our democracy, we are taking meaningful steps to offer fully accessible voter registration services at federal agencies, as intended by the National Voter Registration Act.

But our ongoing enforcement efforts extend – as they should – far beyond lawsuits and settlements. The last two decades have taught us that when the ADA is well understood, its provisions are almost invariably well executed. That’s why – to expand the ADA’s reach and to save scarce resources – we’ve launched multiple educational outreach initiatives. In communities across the country, programs such as Project Civic Access, the ADA Mediation Program, and the Department's Technical Assistance Program are making a difference.

The Department’s leading role in enforcing the ADA – and our obligation as a federal agency that employs more than 100,000 people – carries an additional, and very solemn, responsibility: to make sure that our own house is in order… and open to all qualified candidates with disabilities.

We are not yet where we want to be on this front. Put bluntly, we do not have sufficient numbers of people with disabilities who serve as our colleagues in this great agency. But the Justice Department is taking bold steps to ensure that opportunities to serve and thrive here are accessible to every qualified candidate and employee. The Attorney General’s Committee on the Employment of Persons with Disabilities continues to advise me on the best ways to incorporate persons with disabilities into the recruitment, hiring, retention, accommodation, and promotion practices of the Department. And I am proud to announce that, as part of our new Diversity Management Plan, there is now a vacancy – to be filled within several weeks – for a critical new position within the Department: a Special Assistant for Disability Resources.

I am firmly committed to holding the Department’s senior leadership accountable for encouraging the contributions of employees with disabilities, and working to attract qualified candidates with disabilities. This is a top objective of mine – and it must be our shared priority.

As Attorney General Thornburgh put it in 1990, “Each time civil rights are enlarged in our country, they extend over the whole of our society.

“So,” he added, “do not let this bright moment in American history escape you.”

Twenty years later, we must renew our commitment to seize “this bright moment” for our fellow citizens with disabilities and also for our nation. History, again, is calling us. And together, once more, the Justice Department will lead through its work, enrich our nation, and help to fulfill the promise of equal justice, and equal opportunity, for all. These are our goals; this is our responsibility.

Thank you."

Monday, July 19, 2010

What do I think of the an architect?

Thank you to Abadi Accessibility News for asking me to weigh in with my opinion as we approach the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. My name is Bob Borson and I can typically be found at the helm of my own blog, Life of an Architect .

On July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by then President George. H. W. Bush. It was a momentous occasion and it would change the lives of millions of people, mostly for the better. So here we are 20 years later, well into living and working with the rules and regulations associated with the ADA, but how are we as architects doing implementing these rules? As architects we are probably doing okay because you can't work on a project without implementing the requirements of the ADA. For example, this act was signed into law before I even graduated from college so it has existed all of my professional life. That having been said, how are our clients doing with it and are we helping them?

On occasion, when I tell people that some portion of their project doesn't currently meet code or when I try and explain why the bathrooms are as large as I have shown them, I get puzzled, sometimes irritated responses:

Client: "I was in a restaurant the other day and their toilet room wasn't anywhere near this big."
Me: "Well that doesn't make it right, besides, it is possible that their toilet rooms were permitted before ADA was a requirement."
Client: "And why is that space behind the cashier so large - make it smaller.."
Me: "I can't, that is another ADA requirement. Someone who works back there might be in a wheelchair and they need to be able to turn around and maneuver properly."
Client: "It's too big, I just won't hire someone in a wheelchair."
Me: "It's not called the Americans in Wheelchairs Act, there are other disabilities. You do realize that you are now practicing a type of discrimination and trying to break a federal law?"
Client: "No one else seems to have to do whose being discriminated against?"

I am embarrassed to have to say that I have had this exact conversation or some form just like it several times and I am always shocked that people don't even realize that they are practicing discrimination. I like to think I have smart clients but I have had a few tell me (after I pointed out what they were asking for) tell me that they don't discriminate, that they like people from all races and backgrounds.

Errr...that would be racism and something entirely different. Holy gorilla's armpit - you have got to be kidding me.........

I have to be honest with you, I mostly do residential work and my knowledge of the intricacies of the rules and regulations associated with the ADA are pedestrian at best. I can handle looking things up in the rule book and coming to my own conclusions but what it really comes down to is having a Registered Accessibility Specialist, or RAS, who is there to help guide you. When I start a project, and I try to sit down with all the people who will be working with me and I have a conversation about how we are all on the same team and that we all have the same goals. See, the very nature of how most contracts are set up, adversarial relationships between architect and contractor are established from the very beginning. Another relationship that can be a bit...well maybe not adversarial but difficult at times is between the architect and their RAS. Sometimes, and I mean this with begrudging respect, RAS tend to be rule followers of the highest order. This "rule following" mentality can actually serve the architect well when trying to navigate the labyrinth that is the ADA rulebook. But I am not interested in just rule followers, I want my RAS to interpret how the rules might actually apply specifically to my project. And that's where my particular RAS consultant specialist comes in.

When I was asked to write this post, I was more than happy to do it. The type of RAS consultant I like to work with typically has an architectural background. Having a RAS who thinks like an architect while interpreting the rules and regulations associated with ADA, brings me that much closer to achieving a successful project while getting everyone working on the project on the same side and with the same ultimate goal. I don't think that some people think about the type of role that a RAS can perform - if you get the right one. It is my intention to go beyond just "doing the right thing", disabled persons should have their actions and challenges taken into consideration. Trying to be a rule breaker, or even a rule bender, holds no allure for me as a architect and designer. But just as I have to interpret the projects programs, I want a RAS consultant who will help me work within the guidelines established and to achieve all our common goals - a happy client. Incorporating ADA requirements into your projects is an indication on how far we as a society have come, how inclusive we can be. It should be more about what we can do, not what we have to do.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I tawt I taw a puddy tat! or was it a parking space?

I was at The Willow Bend Mall play area in Plano, Texas with my kids today.  The Looney Tunes PlayLink, is presented by The Medical Center of Plano and features many cartoon favorites including Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, Wile E. Coyote, Pepe Le Pew and more. The fun starts at the entrance, where Bugs Bunny will check-in little ones into the play area. Kids can weigh-in with the Tasmanian Devil, and Tweety can check their heart beats. Overhead, Porky Pig and Yosemite Sam oversee activities in a helicopter, while Gossamer playfully sticks out his tongue in a kid-sized hospital. As we were leaving I noticed a very interesting thing.....accessible parking spaces!

I thought it was so interesting that the play area designers went out of their way to create this little detail.  Was it that we are so used to seeing accessible parking spaces in our parking lots, or is it that we are trying to send a message to our children?

I thought it was great! Good for them!  As architects we are so used to planning for the disabled that it becomes second nature as we design.  And in the day to day world, our children are becoming more aware that accessible parking spaces are always there when they go shopping at the mall, the store, the movie theater and even the hospital.  They may not know exactly why they are there, but they begin by having respect for the spaces and hopefully respect for the individuals who use them and  have fought so hard for their civil rights which has been provided for them 20 years ago by the Americans with Disabilities Act.  May they grow up to be tolerant and compassionate adults who will not think twice about removing all architectural and cultural barriers that stand in the way of the disabled members of our society.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"I was for the war before I was against it..."

In the ADAAG there are rules that might appear to be inconsistent.  Sometimes there are rules for the same space or fixture that have different requirements depending on where they are found.  Here are a few examples:

Grab Bars

Grab bars at water closets that are not in a stall follow fig. 29, which specifies a minimum of 54" from the back wall to the edge of the grab bar

But for the same grab bar that is found in a stall or toilet compartment, the length required is 52" minimum per figure 30d.

Sinks and lavatories

A sink is a plumbing fixture not found in a restroom or used for other things than washing hands, whereas a lavatory is typically found in a restroom and is only used to wash hands.  The knee space requirements for each is slightly different.  For a "sink" the knee space requirement is 30" wide and 27" tall to the underside of the apron. 

At a lavatory, though, the knee space requirement changes to 29" below the apron per Fig. 31


Depending on where you find a "counter" there is a different height requirement.  If the counter has a sink, then the height is 34" high maximum. 

There are also knee space requirements that are not provided in the picture above, but the height of the counter was acceptable.

A transaction counter at a retail store, or a beverage counter at a restaurant or a counter at an eating establishment or bar, can be placed at 36" maximum above the finished floor.

Counters located at employee work areas are not required to adhere to the guidelines.  These are exempted except for the ability to approach the work area, enter it, turn around and exit.  The elements within the work area are not required to comply.
It's sometimes difficult to be cognisant of all the nuances of the Guidelines, but when designing, it is important to note, that not all requirements are created equal and it does depend on how the elements are used on whether or not they have dfferent rules and standards.

Monday, July 5, 2010

20th Anniversary Celebration of the ADA in Dallas, Texas

ADA Awareness Day
Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Local architects, disability advocates and City officials are collaborating to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) civil rights law. 
The Act was signed into law by George Bush on July 26, 1990.  July 26. 2010 has been proclaimed by Mayor Tom Leppert as ADA Awareness day in the City of Dallas and ADA Celebration Day by Mayor Phil Dyer in the City of Plano .
Sponsored by

HERO               FRIEND

rtp      bobrick     apple    bda   access logo
IN-KIND                                                         ORGANIZERS
fast signs                   trasa.jpg       aia_logo.jpg                        

Proclamation Announcement with Kent Waldrep Keynote speaker
10:00 Dallas City Hall

Kent Waldrep will honor us with his participation as our Kick-off speaker to the ADA Awareness Day in Dallas.  He will speak at the Dallas City Hall at 10:00 a.m. on July 26th 2010.  His inspiring journey will give us an idea of how the ADA has benefited our country and the disabled community.

DARS will also be present to discuss what services they provide to the disabled community.

This event is open to the public.

For more information contact Marcela Abadi Rhoads at 214-403-8714 or

12:00 at 4306 Capitol Avenue, Dallas, 75204

 Founded in 1931, the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind, a George Dahl architect designed historic building, focuses on improving and enhancing the lives and opportunities of the visually impaired in North Texas.  Their guiding principle is the belief that with knowledge, training and motivation, people who are visually impaired can succeed and thrive in any workplace, live productive and meaningful lives, and be important contributors to their communities.


By providing jobs, job training and offering community services, the Lighthouse strives to empower and encourage its clients toward living independently. 
The Lighthouse's Industrial and Sewing Centers, where more than 150 people are employed, and the Technology Lab, which offers adaptive business skills training to provide enhanced upward mobility opportunities for employment in a variety of office environments,  will be in full operation for this 30-minute guided tour.  Find out how the Lighthouse is making a real difference in our community and how you can help.   This tour is open to the general public, and reservations are not required, but a response to ensure your space on the tour would be appreciated.
For additional information, call Jo Baker at 214-821-2375, ext. 116.

Texas Discovery Gardens: A Case Study
 6:00 p.m. At the Texas Discovery Gardens in Fair Park

Texas Discovery Gardens, a butterfly exhibit at Fair Park, was renovated by Oglesby Greene Architects.  The original building is historic from the 1936 Centennial Exposition, as the House of Horticulture.  What is now the Butterfly House was originally a conservatory.  An addition was completed in 1971.  The historic building was not originally accessible and with the remodel it was updated to meet the State and Federal requirements in a very sensitive and effective way.   The tour will begin at 6:00 p.m. and will be led by the project architect and accessibility inspector. 

This tour will be $10 for AIA and TRASA member and $20 for non-members and it is worth one hour of barrier free HSW CEU.  RSVP to the AIA since there is a limited number of spots.

Please RSVP to the AIA at 214.742.3242 or

City of Plano Council Meeting and Proclamation Announcement
7:00 p.m. at the City of Plano Council Chamber

City of Plano joins communities across the country in recognizing the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act into legislation. The City is proclaiming July 26 as an annual ADA Celebration Day in the City of Plano. The Honorable Mayor Phil Dyer will present the proclamation during the regular city council meeting on Monday, July 26.  Kent Waldrep will be a distinguished guest partaking in the proclamation event.
Plano Proclamation Presentation
Monday, July 26, 7 p.m.
Plano Municipal Center,
1520 K Avenue
Plano, Texas 75023

Sponsorship opportunities still available.

Our hope is to explore the effect of the act on the built environment as well as those whose lives have been enhanced by improved access to jobs, education, recreation, services and goods previously denied them by physical barriers or discrimination. 

This is a day for awareness and for celebration of the elimination of architectural and cultural barriers in our society

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Census published their findings about Disabilities

The U.S. Census has published finding about our disabled community on their website.
Here is what they published:

Unless otherwise indicated, all the data are from the Americans with Disabilities: 2005 report at

Population Distribution

54 million

Number of people who have a disability. They represent 19 percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population.

By age —

•5 percent of children 5 to 17 have disabilities.

•10 percent of people 18 to 64 have disabilities.

•38 percent of adults 65 and older have disabilities.

Source: 2008 American Community Survey


Percentage of females with a disability, compared with 11.7 percent of males.

Source: 2008 American Community Survey

Using or Needing Assistance

11 million

Number of disabled people 6 and older who need personal assistance with everyday activities. These activities include such tasks as getting around inside the home, taking a bath or shower, preparing meals and performing light housework.

3.3 million

Number of people 15 and older who use a wheelchair. Another 10 million use a walking aid, such as a cane, crutches or walker.

Specific Disabilities

1.8 million

Number of people 15 and older who report being unable to see printed words.

1 million

Number of people 15 and older who reported being unable to hear conversations.

2.5 million

Number of people 15 and older who have difficulty having their speech understood. Of this number, 431,000 were unable to have their speech understood.

16.1 million

Number of people with limitations in cognitive functioning or who have a mental or emotional illness that interferes with daily activities, including those with Alzheimer's disease and mental retardation. This group comprises 7 percent of the population 15 and older. This included 8 million with one or more problems that interfere with daily activities, such as frequently being depressed or anxious, trouble getting along with others, trouble concentrating and trouble coping with stress.

On the Job

13.3 million

Number of 16- to 64-year-olds who reported difficulty finding a job or remaining employed because of a health condition.


Percentage of people 21 to 64 having some type of disability who were employed. The employment rate ranged from 75 percent of those with a nonsevere disability to 31 percent with a severe disability. For those without a disability, the employment rate is 84 percent for the same period.


Percent of people 21 to 64 with difficulty hearing that were employed. The corresponding percentage for those with difficulty seeing was 41 percent.


Percentage of people 21 to 64 with a nonsevere disability who work full time. This compares with 63 percent without a disability and 16 percent with a severe disability.


Percentage of disabled workers 16 and older who used public transportation to commute to work. In addition, 69 percent of people with a disability drove alone, 13 percent carpooled, 4 percent walked and 3 percent used a taxicab, motorcycle, bicycle or other means.

Source: 2008 American Community Survey


Percentage of disabled workers 16 and older who worked in the educational services and health care and social assistance industries.

Source: 2008 American Community Survey

Income and Poverty


Median monthly earnings for people 21 to 64 with a nonsevere disability. This compares with $2,539 for those with no disability and $1,458 for those with a severe disability.


Median monthly earnings for people 21 to 64 with difficulty hearing. The corresponding figure for those with difficulty seeing was $1,932.


The poverty rate for people 25 to 64 with a nonsevere disability. This compares with 27 percent for those with a severe disability and 9 percent of those without a disability.

Serving Our Nation

$36.3 billion

Amount of compensation veterans received for service-connected disabilities in fiscal year 2008.

Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 511



Percent of transit buses that were lift- or ramp-equipped, as of 2007. This represents an increase from 62 percent in 1995.

Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 1079



Percentage of people 25 and older with a disability who had less than a high school graduate education. This compares with 12 percent for those with no disability.

Source: 2008 American Community Survey


Percentage of people 25 and older with a disability who had a bachelor's degree or higher. This compares with 31 percent for those with no disability.

Source: 2008 American Community Survey