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ADA Seminar | The Architecture of Accessible Housing
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ADA Seminar | The Architecture of Accessible Housing

This 5 hour course has been prepared to help architects earn the mandatory accessibility learning units required for licensure in California. For AIA members, our ADA seminars also provide health, safety & welfare (HSW) credits that count towards the 18.0 learning units required to maintain AIA membership in good standing. Complete all five hours of Mandatory Continuing Education required for your Architectural license renewal in one day.

When: 9/29/2017
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Where: Pipe Trades Training Center
780 Commercial Street
San Jose, California  95112
United States
Presenter: Dawn Anderson, AIA Accessibility Specialist, Principal Architect, As It Stands
Contact: April Becerra
408-298-0611 ext 101

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The Architecture of Accessible Housing


How familiar are you with federal laws (e.g. FHA, ADA, 504 & ICC/ANSI 117.1) and regulations governing the design and construction of accessible residential communities? Get a useful overview at this workshop.


You’ll learn about the architect’s role and responsibilities in applying laws and regulations, educating stakeholders, and teaming with lenders, jurisdictions, and the public for successful project outcomes. In addition, you’ll explore how housing discrimination plays out in court—and how that affects regulatory development and, consequently, transforms communities. Plus, examine best practices for reducing risk and assuring quality.

This interactive workshop will explore common violations of accessibility laws and regulations and discuss key requirements that apply to the design and construction of a variety of residential housing types. The appropriate use of the Fair Housing Act and associated Safe Harbor provisions, the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act and Standards, Section 504 under the Rehabilitation Act, and the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards will be explored through examples and scenarios. Publicly funded and privately funded projects will be compared and contrasted under the laws as will the enforcement and interpretation duties of the Department of Justice, Housing and Urban Development, and the state and local jurisdictions. The role of the Architect as a leader in accessibility and universal design, and, best practices to reduce risk and improve product quality will also be topics for group discussion. Ample materials and resources will illustrate complex ideas and facilitate learning throughout the day.

Members (you must be logged in) $150
Non-members $185







9:00 AM: Why all these Rules

Softly introduce the people, day's plans and the laws the affect accessibility in Architecture. Explain why the laws are necessary and have a discussion about how ethos is reflected in our built environment. Group participation and quiz on the application of laws and regulations that affect residential architecture.


9:30 AM: Regulations are our Friends

So much of design is following rules. Are we decorating boxes or really creating place? The presenters will discuss why we should we care about compliance and why universal design is an architect’s expertise to be honed and promoted. Architects who understand the principles of equal access will have successful outcomes and be prepared for the changes to come. Steps for scoping accessible solutions early in the design phase will be outlined and the ever-present constraints of cost per square foot, contract limitations, and phased construction will be reviewed.


10:15 AM: BREAK


10:30 AM: Applying ADA and FHA in New and Existing Construction

Knowing the rules is one thing but applying the rules is another. This hour will review the importance of the specific regulatory principles and the plain language of accessibility law. The presenters will introduce new technologies and alterative materials that can enhance or hinder access.


11:45 PM: LUNCH (lunch will be provided)


12:15 PM: Residential Building Types - Compare and Contrast Accessibility

Sometimes the best way to survive in the economy of Architecture is to specialize. We will explore the variety of residential project types and find the groove that each one offers the user. Even the experts in the crowd will learn a new fact that will influence their approach to the problem and fly in the face of reason. I didn't know the ADA applied single family homes?! Often highlighting the differences illuminates similarities and reinforces the logic of the rationale.


1:15 PM: Advanced topics on Funding HUD Oversight and Enforcement

Whenever HUD stomps onto the scene of a project funded with federal dollars, life becomes complicated fast and so does the paperwork. We will review the who, what, where, when and how of HUD and why it really pays to get in the know about their mighty enforcement powers - especially when they team up with the DOJ - the dynamic duo. One blow from the Feds and your project will tank. HUD and DOJ are slow and clumsy elephants - but they never forget. Some examples will be shared.


1:45 PM: BREAK


2:00 PM: Scenarios & Role Playing

All the knowledge presented will either put you to sleep or blow your mind - either way it's time to play. Putting into practice the information presented, the participants will test their imagination by converting a whine-whine into win-win. There's nothing like a juicy change order brought about by an accessibility boo-boo or add-services agreement because of a construction blunder to get the conversation going again. There will be time for reflection to consider the user - usually the only stakeholder not in the game.


2:30 PM: Case Law, Lessons Learned and Practicum

Our transition to this hour's subject is role playing as judge. There's so much case law on discrimination and architectural barriers your head will spin. How do we keep our Client's out of court. How do architect's reduce their risk? We will present some answers to these questions and others. All the facts are in the public record, so we will review some construction documents, contracts, and the party's pleadings and let the audience be the judge.


3:00 PM: Resources, Q/A, Reflections




Dawn Anderson, AIA

Accessibility Specialist


Principal Architect of As It Stands
Campbell, CA



Dawn Anderson, AIA, CASp, is the principal of As It Stands, a fullservice architectural firm specializing in accessible design and construction in the built environment. Ms. Anderson performs accessibility scoping studies, design reviews, and inspections of commercial and residential properties, rights of way, as well as outdoor recreational areas for public and private entities throughout the U.S. The firms regularly prepares reports, transition plans, and legal findings as a subject matter expert for accessibilityrelated casework.

Dawn participates in the development of the ANSI A117.1 Standard and is the technical lead for the ASTM Standards for Accessibible Property Condition Assessments. She also serves on several state advisory committees advocating disabled access in regulatory development.
Dawn is a registered Accessibility Specialist in California (CASp), Texas (RAS), and
Minnesota. She is an ICC Accessibility Plan Reviewer and Inspector, Combination
Inspector, and Inspector of Record for healthcare facilities.



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