The Great Plains ADA Center serves Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.
The Great Plains (GP) ADA Center is part of the University of Missouri College of Human Environmental Sciences - Architectural Studies Department. Our service region stretches over 1,000 miles and consists of both rural communities and major urban areas. The GP ADA Center emphasizes capacity-building and ADA implementation strategies in provision of its core services. Two main areas of our service efforts are:
- Working with communities and businesses to appoint and train ADA Coordinators and to ensure these Coordinators have ongoing technical support.
- 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:
- Establishes a knowledge base essential to the role of an ADA Coordinator.
- Provides professional support to members.
- Verifies quality sources of training and content.
- Verifies completion of training credits (40 required)
- Provides an examination to demonstrate mastery of content.
Participants who complete the program requirements receive certification for three years. To date, more than 740 individuals have received certification and more than 1,760 participants are working toward certification requirements. A Title III Certificate has recently been added to the program.
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 over 100 breakout sessions, preconference, keynote, advanced workshops, 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, Health and Human Services, Labor and Education.
Approximately 1,000 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.
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), who 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 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.