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Board Organizes Advisory Committee on Courthouse Accessibility October. 12, 2004

As indicated in a notice published in the Federal Register, the Board has organized an advisory committee to promote access to courthouses as part of an overall plan for targeted outreach on different aspects or spheres of accessibility. The Courthouse Access Advisory Committee will explore issues related to the accessibility of courthouses, particularly courtrooms, including best practices, design solutions, promotion of accessible features, educational opportunities, and the gathering of information on existing barriers, practices, recommendations, and guidelines. This information will supplement design guidelines the Board previously issued for judicial facilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The design of courthouses poses challenges to access due to unique features, such as courtroom areas that are elevated within confined spaces. The Board has received many requests for guidance on how access can best be achieved while meeting traditional design features. The Committee will investigate compliance issues and explore new and innovative design solutions. While past Board advisory committees have been tasked with preparing recommendations for new guidelines or standards, this committee’s work will instead be focused on developing advisory information and guidance on best practices.

The Committee’s 31 members include designers and architects, disability groups, members of the judiciary, including judges and court administrators and organizations representing them, the codes community and standard-setting entities, government agencies, and others with an interest in the issues to be explored. The members were selected among applications the Board received in response to a notice published in June. The Committee will hold its first meeting on November 4th and 5th in Washington, D.C. For further information on the Committee and its meeting, contact Elizabeth Stewart of the Board at (202) 272-0042 (v), (202) 272-0082 (TTY), or (e-mail).

Courthouse Access Advisory Committee

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