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 Code Officials and the Design and Construction Community
Since 2009, the GP ADA Center continues nurturing a vital alliance 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 and our ACTCP ADA Coordinator Certification program. Our keynote work is the methodical advancement of a design "learning track" at the National ADA Symposium. 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.
Most design courses 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 courses for continuing education and promotes participation to its architectural members.
Our collaborative efforts between the GP ADA Center, ICC, AIA and US Access Board continually push the growth edges of quality accessibility training nationwide.