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Electric eye operator for power door

Electric eye operator for power door

On a recent visit to the Oregon State University campus, I was quite taken with these electric eye operators for powered doors.  I noted them first at toilet room doors (how sanitary – no touching!) but soon realized they were the campus standard.  Great idea!

Touch-less switches like this can be found by these and other companies:

To the left of the toilet room door is the silver plate that reacts to motion close to it.

To the left of the toilet room door is the silver plate that reacts to motion close to it.

Upcoming presentations and trainings, Spring 2013

I cordially invite you to join me at some great conferences coming in the next few months…. I will be presenting on the following days and topics.

UD Summit #5, St. Louis, MO

May 7, 2013

More Than Accessible: A Case Study with Resources & Ideas.

ACHUO-I 2013 Annual Conference and Exposition, Minneapolis, MN

June 16, 2013

Housing for Everyone: Promoting Universal Design in Residential Environments

AIA National Conference, Denver, CO?

June 19, 2013

Half-Day Preconvention Workshop: Prevent the Most Common Accessibility Errors in Multifamily Housing under FHA, ICC, and CBC

June 20, 2013

Compliance Under the 2010 ADA for K-12 Schools and Housing for Places of Education

Universally Accessible, Independently Active

PWD (People with disabilities) in Phoenix have no excuse to sit still. The Virginia G. Piper Sports and Fitness Center, known as SpoFit, has fitness equipment, classes, sport gyms, a climbing wall and aquatics programs for every ability. As the mother of a competitive swimmer who happens to ride a wheelchair, I know how hard it is to find pools and locker room facilities that really work for all abilities. This center has the best pool layout I’ve seen.

There are two pools and a hot tub, each with at least two means of transfer into the water.  The warm water therapy pool has steps, a transfer wall, a lift with a chair seat (including head and foot rest) and a in-water platform lift (first one’s I’ve seen).

Steps, platform lift and pool seat lift at warm water therapy pool.

Platform lift with mesh door lowers into pool. Traditional chair lift is beyond.

Platform lift with mesh door lowers into pool. Traditional chair lift is beyond.

(Sorry about the rotated image of the platform lift. My techie skills are failing me tonight.)

The lap pool has a transfer platform, a lift and a pool platform lift.  The transfer platform is aligned with gradual steps in the water to aid in transferring back out of the pool. SpoFit provides cushions for those who need butt protection during the transfer process.

Transfer platform into lap pool with hot tub beyond.

Transfer platform into lap pool with hot tub beyond.

I am so excited to know there are models of great fitness facilities that are inclusive of all abilities. My city needs our fitness facility to follow SpoFit’s motto, “Universally Accessible, Independently Active!”

Braitmayer elected as Chair, US Access Board

Seattle, WA (March 20, 2013) – Architect Karen Braitmayer was unanimously elected Chair of the United States Access Board at the March 13 meeting in Washington, DC. President Barack Obama appointed Braitmayer to the Board in 2010. The Access Board is an independent Federal agency devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities.

“I’m honored to be elected Chair and look forward to working with this talented Board to increase accessibility in our communities for all citizens,” says Braitmayer.

Braitmayer is the founder of Karen Braitmayer, FAIA, Seattle, WA, an architectural consulting firm specializing in accessibility and accessible design.  She advises state agencies, local governments, school districts, developers and architects on accessibility for housing, commercial, retail, institutional and educational projects. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and served on the Advisory Board of the Northwest ADA Center and on the Board of the Northwest Center (for people with Developmental Disabilities). Braitmayer received a BA from Rice University and a Master of Architecture from the University of Houston.

Previously, Braitmayer served as Vice Chair of the Access Board and succeeds past Chair, Susan Brita, Deputy Administrator for the US General Services Administration, who will now serve as Vice Chair. Board members serve four-year terms and officers serve one-year terms.

Created in 1973, the Access Board ensures access to federally funded facilities and is a leading source of information on accessible design.  The Board develops and maintains design criteria for the built environment, transit vehicles, telecommunications equipment, and for electronic and information technology.  The Board provides technical assistance and training on these requirements, accessible design and enforces accessibility standards that cover federally funded facilities. To learn more, visit