School of Architecture co-sponsors first Accessibility Awareness Day

Author: Kara Kelly


The University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, in conjunction with the Office of the University Architect, Disability Services and LCM Architects, will host a daylong program Friday (Aug. 29) to raise awareness of the challenges faced by people with physical disabilities.

The program is designed to increase architecture studentsawareness 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 bus, 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 of Bond Hall. It is free and open to the public.

Doug Marsh, associate vice president and University architect, said 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. Marsh said this effort is a component of the Universitys commitment to accessibility.

The best way to provide an environment that is accessible to all is at the design stage,said Scott Howland, coordinator of disability services at Notre Dames Sara Bea Learning Center for Students with Disabilities.

This is a great way to make architecture students more aware of the things they can do to incorporate universal design into everything they create,he said.

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