Region 7 - Great Plains ADA Center

The Great Plains ADA Center serves Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

The Great Plains (GP) ADA Center is part of the University of Missouri School of Human Environmental Sciences Architectural Studies Department. Our service region stretches over 1,000 miles and consists primarily of rural communities, but also includes the major urban areas of St. Louis Metro, Kansas City Metro, Des Moines, Quad Cities, Omaha, and Wichita.

The GP ADA Center emphasizes capacity-building and ADA implementation strategies. Two main areas of our service efforts are:

  1. Working with communities and businesses to appoint and train ADA Coordinators and to ensure these Coordinators, and
  2. Providing trainings that bring together the disability community, state and local government officials, design community, business personnel, educators, etc.

This focus led to the development of two major national programs.

ADA Coordinator Training Certification Program

The ADA Coordinator Training Certification Program (ACTCP) certifies that participants have completed quality training that provides the knowledge base and tools necessary to be effective in the role of an ADA Coordinator.

The ACTCP provides five major services:

  1. Establishes a knowledge base essential to the role of an ADA Coordinator.
  2. Provides professional support to members.
  3. Verifies quality sources of training and content.
  4. Verifies completion of training credits (40 required)
  5. Provides an examination to demonstrate mastery of content.

 Participants who complete the program requirements receive certification for three years.  To date, 401 individuals have received certification and 1,212 participants are working toward certification requirements.

National ADA Symposium

The National ADA Symposium is a four-day comprehensive conference on the ADA and related laws. We have sponsored this premier event annually for the past 20 years. The conference offers 80 breakout sessions; preconference, keynote, and advanced discussion groups; and networking activities. Breakout sessions cover topics designed to meet the needs of the diverse group of professionals involved in ADA implementation.

Sessions are presented by nationally recognized experts, including representatives from the key agencies involved in ADA implementation, such as the EEOC, U.S. Access Board, and U.S. Departments of Justice, Labor and Education. 

Approximately 900 participants attend the ADA Symposium across the United States.  Attendees are involved in all areas of ADA implementation and include advocates, ADA coordinators, architects, business members, code officials, educators, employers, government officials, individuals with disabilities and service providers.

Evaluation data shows that the National ADA Symposium has increased impact on local ADA implementation. Fully 100% of attendees (up from 96% in the previous year) surveyed reported that they learned new information, strategies and skills that they use on the job and in their communities.

CityArchRiver Project

The GP ADA Center is assisting the City of St. Louis and the U.S. Park Service as it plans major renovation of the St. Louis Arch to make sure people with disabilities have access to all elements of this project, including the arch, museum and educational centers.

Outreach to Building Code Officials

Building code officials are critical to successful implementation of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design in newly constructed buildings and renovations. The GP ADA Center has successfully reached out to this target group through collaboration with the International Code Council (ICC), which develops the International Building Code.  These collaborative efforts have included working closely with ICC members to develop and present a “learning track” designed specifically for design officials at the National ADA Symposium. This track has become a feature at the National ADA Symposium and promoted by the ICC to the building community.

The GP ADA Center has also developed an in-depth training on the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessibility specifically for the building code officials.  The course is approved for ICC continuing education units and is promoted through the ICC to its members.  The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has endorsed these courses and promotes participation to its members

This continuing collaborative effort has significantly increased the quality of accessibility training available to the design community at all levels.