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        July 2021 - Volume 8, Issue 3      
SWA Celebrates Disability Pride Month!

Image of Fair Housing RibbonOn July 26th, 1990, George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law. Enacting this landmark civil rights legislation marked a significant step forward in reducing discrimination and providing people with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of society. In 2015, to mark the 25th anniversary of the ADA, New York City designated the month of July as Disability Pride Month. Now, as we approach the ADA’s 31st anniversary, Disability Pride Month has expanded to become a worldwide celebration promoting awareness of the strong sense of identity and pride felt by many people with disabilities. It is also a time to reflect on the barriers that still exist throughout our society and how we, as members of the building industry, can continue to move forward to ensure that those barriers are addressed.

Throughout July, SWA will be celebrating Disability Pride Month and the anniversary of the ADA, while looking ahead to the future of accessible and inclusive design. Here are just a few ways that you can celebrate:
  • Follow us on Twitter for updates (@_Swinter). Keep an eye out for insider tips from our Accessibility consultants, links to articles and information on ADA celebrations, and much more.
  • Learn something new.
    1. Listen to SWA's newest Buildings and Beyond podcast with Peter Stratton, Managing Director, Accessibility Services to learn some of the most common accessibility oversights our consultants come across.
    2. Check out the ADA National Network's resource page for the 31st anniversary and follow along on social media with #ADA31 and #ThanksToTheADA posts.
    3. Accessibility Online: The ADA National Network and the US Access Board’s free online training archive. You’ll find practically anything and everything you need to know about the ADA.
    4. US Access Board Animations: Having some trouble visualizing the reasons behind the ADA requirements? The US Access Board created some helpful animations to help designers understand everything from door clearances to toilet rooms.
    5. NY Times Disability Column: This recurring column in the NY Times Opinion section provides a range of perspectives from people with disabilities.

Trends in Healthcare: Hospital Gardens

accessible hospital garden seatingAccess to nature is known to promote healing and improve mental and physical wellbeing. The sights and sounds of the natural world have been proven to relieve anxiety, an attribute that can be immensely impactful in a hospital environment where patients, visitors, and staff experience increased stress on a consistent basis. With this in mind, hospital gardens that provide much needed respite have become an essential feature in many healthcare facilities. Designing these spaces to be accessible to all is essential to ensuring that patients, visitors, and staff can benefit from the boost to health and wellbeing that a garden offers.

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Innovations in Accessible Products

man in wheelchair watering his accessible gardenOur accessibility consultants are constantly on the lookout for new products that will make it easier for our clients to comply with accessibility criteria while meeting their overarching design goals. As manufacturers become more familiar with accessibility requirements under applicable federal, state, and local regulations and building codes, new or modified products continue to emerge, making compliance simpler and more stylish.

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