Parks: Assessing Buildings and Facilities for Accessibility

Wednesday, January 24 | 11:00 - 12:15 p.m.

Session Description:
The Americans with Disabilities Act has been in place for more than 25 years. However, new and renovated facilities often have accessibility challenges. Knowing the basic building code requirements can help reduce costly design and construction mistakes, and ensure facilities are
accessible to everyone regardless of abilities. This presentation will focus on the building blocks that are the basic foundation of code compliance. Attendees will learn basic code requirements, increase their awareness of barriers to accessibility, and gain hands on experience using an accessibility checklist.

Need for Session: 
An increase in population and urban density has created a demand for more public recreation facilities that offer a variety of programs for people of all ages and abilities. The International Building Code and the American with Disabilities Act Standards require facilities and programs to be
accessible. Parks staff often receive complaints about access issues but are unsure about code requirements. This presentation will cover the basic code requirements and how to apply them to the built environment.

Gail Himes, City of Tacoma
Mina Zarelli, City of Tacoma

Gail Himes is the ADA Coordinator for the City of Tacoma. Since 2008, she has been responsible for ensuring the City of Tacoma makes meaningful progress on their ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan. Gail is well versed in ADA compliance of buildings, parks and recreation facilities, and the public right-of-way including curb ramps, accessible pedestrian signals, disability parking, bus stops, and pedestrian access during construction. Gail has partnered with staff from Tacoma Metro Parks and community members to make Tacoma parks accessible for everyone.

Mina Zarelli
is an Architect with the City of Tacoma Facilities Management. She is responsible for managing the design and construction of city-owned buildings. Mina has a background in building code enforcement on federal, state and local levels, specializing in licensed healthcare facilities and senior multifamily housing. She is also Certified Building Official and LEED Accredited Professional.