School of Architecture sponsors second annual Accessibility Awareness Day

Author: Kara Kelly

Accessibility Awareness Day

Watch video of last year’s event Video

The University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, with support from the Office of the University Architect, Disability Services and LCM Architects, will host a daylong program Sept. 2 (Wednesday) to raise awareness about the challenges faced by people with physical disabilities.

The program is designed to increase architecture students’ awareness of the many facets of accessible design in the context of daily student life on the Notre Dame campus. Senior architecture students will be divided into three groups: one with crutches, one with wheelchairs and one with blindfolds and canes. They will navigate the campus and participate in various day-to-day activities such as riding a shuttle, attending class and using public restrooms. Students will follow their regular schedules in the morning, navigate Notre Dame Stadium in the afternoon and conclude the day with a lecture on designing for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The lecture, presented by Jack Catlin and Gigi McCabe-Miele of LCM Architects, a Chicago-based firm that consults nationally on ADA compliance, will begin at 3:30 p.m. in Room 104 Bond Hall. It is open to the public.

The intention of the program is to make architecture students aware of the barriers that people with disabilities can face while distinguishing between Universal Accessible Design and minimum building and accessibility code requirements, according to Doug Marsh, associate vice president and University architect. Marsh said that this effort is a component of the University’s commitment to accessibility.

Scott Howland, coordinator of disability services at Notre Dame’s Sara Bea Learning Center for Students with Disabilities, said the best way to provide an environment that is accessible to all is at the design stage. Howland said it is a good way to make architecture students more aware of the things they can do to incorporate universal design.

Contact: Kara Kelly, School of Architecture,, 574-631-5720