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Great Plains ADA Center Launches the Accessible Design Accreditation Initiative (ADAI)

November 16, 2023
Source: Great Plains ADA Center

The Great Plains ADA Center is excited to unveil the Accessible Design Accreditation Initiative (ADAI).

This initiative proposes that University and college architectural and interior design programs integrate new academic objectives based on the foundational principles of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, the applicable International Code Council model codes, and the ICC/ANSI.A117.1 Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities into their curriculums.  These objectives focus on a broader understanding and more robust application of accessible design principles. The current and sporadic patchwork of continuing education programs for professionals is no replacement for the rigors and effectiveness of a four-year academic program. The ADAI recognizes that our academic institutions are best positioned to enhance the education of professionals before graduation. By collaborating with the accreditation agencies, design curriculums can incorporate educational objectives that result in newly graduating architects and interior designers with the theoretical and technical knowledge necessary to implement effective accessible designs, improving the built environment for people with disabilities and society at large.

Our goal is to encourage the national accreditation organizations that assess and validate University design programs to adopt ADAI-recommended program objectives into their accreditation requirements. The ADAI has the support of the U.S. Access Board, the International Code Council A117 Committee, the Association of Licensed Architects, and the American Society of Interior Designers. These are but a handful of the more than 28 national associations, institutes, and respected professionals in the design community who have co-signed the ADAI .

We continue to gather support and encourage you to learn more about the ADAI and join our efforts. 

ADAI Documents

The Accessible Design Accreditation Initiative Best Practices Guide: Educational Foundations of Accessible Design (PDF)

Letter from the Great Plains ADA Center to the  National Architectural Accrediting Board  (NAAB)

Your Support of the ADAI Makes a Difference!

Please consider adding your name to the list of prestigious co-sponsors of the ADAI by downloading and signing our sample letter of support.

We will forward that to the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).

We are honored to also post here a letter from the Executive Director of the United States Access Board, Dr. Sachin Dev Pavithran. Please feel free to use [this] letter as a model for your own.  Letter of Support from the U.S. Access Board (PDF)

If you prefer to reach out to the accreditation agencies directly to voice your support, here is their contact information:

Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture

Council for Interior Design Accreditation
Holly Mattson CEO

National Architectural Accrediting Board

National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
Customer Relations

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