Courthouse Access Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes

February 9th and 10th, 2006
Washington, DC


February 9th (9:00 – 5:00)

Opening Remarks, Roll Call, and Approval of Minutes
Committee Co-Chairs Eve Hill and Sam Overton opened the meeting and took roll. The committee approved the minutes from its November meeting in San Francisco.

Subcommittee Updates
Representatives from each of the three subcommittees provided updates on the progress made to date. Mark Lichter and David Calvert, reporting for the Courthouse Subcommittee, described efforts to complete reports on different courthouse elements and spaces. They noted the need for drawings and photos to illustrate the reports. Kleo King briefed the committee on reports being prepared by the Courtroom Subcommittee covering different elements of courtrooms, the preparation and review of courtroom plans, and planning for a courtroom mock-up. She noted that final drafts of the reports are due in late March and that the subcommittee’s full report will be shared with the committee. Stephanie Vierra provided an overview of tasks underway by the Education and Outreach Subcommittee, including the development of introductory material for a public website.

Subcommittee Deliverables
Subcommittee representatives identified planned deliverables:

The committee agreed to have most subcommittee deliverables available for full committee review at the May meeting.

Meeting Dates (July and November)
The committee discussed dates for the meeting to be held in Boston. Board staff indicated that the Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management, which is hosting this meeting, would like to schedule the meeting in July or September to accommodate Massachusetts justices who are not available during the month of August. The committee agreed to the following dates: July 19 – 21 (with July 26 – 28 as back-up dates). The committee also considered plans to hold its November meeting in conjunction with the scheduled Access Board meeting (November 14 – 15) should the committee be ready to present its report to the Board at that time.

At approximately 11:00 the committee adjourned for subcommittee meetings followed by lunch. The committee reconvened at 1:00.

Discussion with Leaders of the AIA’s Academy of Architecture for Justice
Leaders of the AIA’s Academy of Architecture for Justice (AAJ), who were in town for the AIA’s Grassroots Leadership Conference, met with the committee to discuss outreach and partnership opportunities. AAJ leaders included Beverly Prior, AIA, LEED AP (Chair), Randy Dahr, FRAIC, Assoc. AIA (Vice Chair), Edward Spooner (AIA), Charles Drulis, AIA, and Frank Greene, AIA. Andrew Goldberg, Assoc. AIA, Manager of AIA’s Federal Regulatory Activities, also attended. Prior and other AAJ representatives called attention to several key events and initiatives:

AAJ leaders welcomed the committee’s input and recommended that the committee:

In discussing training considerations, it was noted that case studies and site tours are effective ways to train architects. The committee could also provide recommendations for the tour to be arranged as part of this year’s conference in New Orleans. The committee expressed an interest in renewing a call for images and photos through the AAJ and AIA for use in committee products.

Presentation on Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and Electro-magnetic Sensitivities
Mary Lamielle and Susan Molloy (via speaker phone) briefed the committee on issues concerning people with multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) and electro-magnetic sensitivities (EMS). The presentation focused on design considerations and best practices that can improve access to courthouses for people with MCS and EMS.

After the tour, members adjourned for a tour of the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse Annex.

February 10th (9:00 – 3:00)

Opening Remarks/ Prettyman Courthouse Tour
Members discussed observations from the tour of the Prettyman Courthouse Annex, including those concerning courtroom lifts, jury box access, and corridors.

The committee adjourned for breakout sessions at 9:30 and reconvened after lunch at 2:30.

Wrap Up and Adjournment
Subcommittee co-chairs reported on the progress made in subcommittee sessions over the past two days. Gate Lew and Kim Paarlberg, reporting for the Courtroom Subcommittee, noted that reviews of the following were conducted: revised working group reports, photos and images to illustrate the full subcommittee report, and sample courtroom plans prepared by the Administrative Office of the Courts. As result of this review, the reports will be finalized and the plans revised. This work will be advanced in two conference calls scheduled for March. Collected photos for use with the reports will be organized and distributed. Cheryl Killam, David Calvert, and Mark Lichter reported on the progress made by the Courthouse Subcommittee which plans to submit its report to the full committee by the next meeting. Stephanie Vierra of the Education and Outreach Subcommittee outlined progress made in planning for major deliverables including: the public website, a training course for courthouse staff, a longer, more technical course for designers, and a marketing plan (which will include recommendations on courses, audiences, materials, monitoring feedback, etc.). Draft outlines for the courses are due April 3; the content of the courses will be based on the material generated from the other two subcommittees. A checklist deliverable is also under consideration.

The committee adjourned at 3:00, and committee and subcommittee co-chairs met in executive session.

Co-Chair Session
Committee and subcommittee co-chairs discussed next steps and planning for the May meeting. It was recommended that an editorial committee comprised of representatives from each subcommittee be organized at the May meeting. This committee would review and edit final deliverables. A co-chair conference call was scheduled for April 19 at 4:00. The meeting adjourned at approximately 4:00.