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 Art and Sciences- Architectural Studies Department. Our service region stretches over 1,000 miles and consists of both rural communities and major urban areas. The Great Plains ADA Center emphasizes capacity-building and ADA implementation strategies in provision of its core services: training, technical assistance, dissemination, and capacity building. Main areas of our service efforts are:
- Work with communities and businesses to appoint and train ADA Coordinators and to ensure these Coordinators have ongoing technical support.
- Assist state agencies, local governments, and service organizations to increase their capacity to conduct self-evaluation and transition plans, incorporate ADA training and awareness in their own organizations, and better implement the ADA throughout their own services.
- Provide highly customized training upon request targeted to the needs of ADA stakeholders.
ADA Coordinator Training Certification Program
The ADA Coordinator Training Certification Program (ACTCP) is a nation-wide program that certifies members 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, primarily through the ADA National Network.
- Verifies completion of training credits (40 required)
- Provides an examination to demonstrate mastery of content.
- Provides 2-3 annual ADA Coordinator Conferences.
Participants who complete the program requirements receive certification for three years. To date, the program has over 2700 members from across the United States. A Title III Certificate has recently been added to the program. More information about this program is available at the ADA Coordinator Training Certification Program website.
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 25+ years. 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 including 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. Annually, 95% to 98% of conference survey respondents reported that they learned new information, strategies and skills that they use on the job and in their communities.
Examples of Regional Capacity Building and Consultation Projects
St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station Project
The Great Plains ADA Center worked closely the new St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station to provide an accessible facility with accessible services and policies to individuals with disabilities and their family members. The St. Louis Aquarium project focused on both ADA compliance and best practices, such as a quiet area for people and children with sensory disorders.
State of Nebraska Election Officials Accessible Voting Resources and Training
The Center collaborated with the State of Nebraska Office of Elections to provide training to all county clerks and election commissioners. A comprehensive manual developed by the Great Plains ADA Center is currently used as a guide to provide accessible elections statewide.
Outreach to Code Officials and the Design and Construction Community
The GP ADA Center has established a collaborative relationship with the International Code Council (ICC), authors of the International Building Code and the ICC A117.1. Our collaboration includes mutual participation in educational conferences, webinars, harmonization issues. Along with the ICC, the US Access Board and others, we develop design focused accessibility education explicitly for codes enforcement agencies, designers, contractors, project managers and ADA Coordinators, including a design track at the National ADA Symposium. Most design trainings at the ADA Symposium are approved for ICC continuing education and promoted by the ICC to their members and building and design communities. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) also recognizes the sessions for continuing education and promotes participation to its architectural members.