I am licensed by the state of Texas to practice architecture. Each year, as well as requiring that I pay several hundred dollars for a small robin’s-egg-blue piece of cardstock stating that I am so licensed, Texas requires that I complete eight hours of continuing eduction. And each year, one of those eight hours must be related to barrier-free design.
It’s not easy to find a good one-hour continuing education course, let alone a different one-hour course each year related to accessibility. So, for each of the years since Texas instituted its CE requirements, I’ve logged somewhere between 2 and 6 of my required 8 hours of CE taking classes on accessibility.
Today, I did my accessibility hours for this year. From 8:00 a.m. ’til noon today, I got an overview of the changes to accessibility requirements that will occur in Washington state next week, when the state finally adopts the International Building Code, and in the next couple of years, as revisions to a couple of national accessibility standards are adopted.
And you wouldn’t believe the changes! Stair handrail extensions are getting shorter(at the bottom only). Van accessible parking stalls may have a lower clear height (the same height that is standard in the rest of the country, as Washinton’s eccentric amendment requiring more clearance in going away). The grab bar on the back wall behind a toilet may be 24″ long, rather than…
Oh, have I bored you completely? Sorry. I’m a bit of a code nerd, so I enjoyed learning all these little details. And the presenter was funny. And I’d brought a double latte with me, just in case. And, while I think about accessible design frequently, I don’t have to think about finding another CE course on it until next year.