Accessibility Awareness Trainings

Page updated on Oct 3, 2011 at 1:17 PM

The Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities (ACPD) in conjunction with the City of Alexandria invites you to attend its Accessibility Awareness Trainings during the month of October, which is designated as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. 

City employees are encouraged to attend any or all of the events. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Mike Hatfield at or 703.746.3148 (Virginia Relay 711).  Click here to view the program flyer.


Program of Activities

October 6, 2011 (Thursday)

Presentation 1:  Disability Issues + ADA + Common Sense Solutions = Success, by Michele S. Ohmes

8:00 AM – 8:05 AM, Sister Cities Room 1101, City Hall
Welcome from Chuck Benagh, Chair, Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities. Introduction of Ms. Ohmes.

8:05 AM - 9:45 AM, Sister Cities Room 1101, City Hall
Audience: City Attorney & Staff, Circuit Court, Commonwealth, Attorney, Courts, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Court Service Unit, General District Court
•  Legal considerations related to the ADA
•  Approaches and attitude toward ADA guidelines
•  13 Points of ADA Compliance Evaluation
•  Resources
•  Questions and Answers

10:00 AM – 11:45 AM, Sister Cities Room 1101, City Hall
Audience: Police Department, Sheriff’s Office, and Department of Emergency Communications
•  Approaches for assisting and defending yourselves from people with disABILITIES
•  911 centers and TTYs
•  Equipment to help restrain.
•  Rights and Liabilities
•  Resources
•  Questions and Answers

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM  Lunch Break (everyone on his/her own)

1:00 PM – 2:45 PM, Sister Cities Room 1101, City Hall
Audience: Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities
•  Expanded regulations and trainings related to them
•  Discuss multiple situations w/ requirements and solutions
•  Communications in different formats
•  Accessible play grounds, parks and park furniture, trails etc.
•  Questions and Answers

3:15 PM - 4:30 PM, Sister Cities Room 1101
Audience: Fire Department and Emergency Preparedness Management
•  Transfer equipment  
•  Understanding the multiple disABILITIES with needs
•  Preparation, notification, and interaction w/ disABILITY community
•  Resources
•  Questions and Answers


October 7, 2011 (Friday)

8:00 AM – 8:05 AM, Room 2000, City Hall  
Greeting and Introduction of Ms. Ohmes

8:05 AM – 9:45 AM
Audience: City Council Members & their staff, City Department Heads, City Clerk & Clerk of Council, Office of the City Manager, Communications & Public Information, Community & Human Services,  DASH bus, Finance, General Services, Health Department, Human Resources,  Human Rights, Human Services, Information Technology, Library, Office of Mental, Intellectual Disabilities, & Substance Abuse,   Planning & Zoning, Recreation, Parks, Cultural Activities, Transportation and Environmental Services, Voter Registration & Elections
•  Basic compliance responsibilities - 13 points of compliance evaluation
•  Funding responsibilities
•  TTY’s, Captioning, access for public meetings
•  Supporting all aspects of accessible compliance for considerations of multiple disABILITIES not just wheelchair users
•  Responsibilities of codes, facilities & Pedestrian Access Routes (PAR) on public sidewalks and public areas.
•  Complaint procedures, Priorities of accessible improvements, repairs, CUSTOMER SERVICE
•  Planning reviews, design and retrofit plans and responsibility of City officials to approve only when accessible guidelines are met or exceed guidelines.
•  Questions and Answers

          “The best way to conquer your enemy is to make them your friend.”
           Abraham Lincoln 

10:00 AM – 11:45 AM, Room 2000, City Hall 
Audience: Local businesses invited by Chamber of Commerce
•  Customer Service basics
•  Interaction different disABILITIES
•  Common sense, simple solutions for accessibility
•  Alternate solutions for extreme inaccessible facilities
•  Resources to turn to for assistance
•  Questions and Answers

         “Plan on ‘Yes’ before you say ‘No’ to accessible improvements.”  Michele

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Lunch for Attendees on site – Meet & Greet Ms. Ohmes

1:30 PM – 3:45 PM, Room 2000, City Hall 
Transportation/Planning & Zoning, Code Administration, General Services, Historic Alexandria
Co-Presenters with Ms. Ohmes:   Emily Baker, City Engineer, City of Alexandria and Gwen Wright, Chief of Development, Planning & Zoning, City of Alexandria
•  Facilities – design, maintenance & retrofit
•  Streets – Pedestrian Access Routes (PAR) on public sidewalks and public areas.
•  Questions and Answers

         “Practical accessible solutions are readily available if only we take time to think beyond the bricks and mortar.”  Michele

4:00PM – 4:45 PM  Media Interview with Ms. Ohmes


October 12, 2011 (Wednesday)

Presentation 2: Universal Design and Accessible Housing Workshop, 1 – 5:00 PM, Beatley Central Library

Workshop by Dr. William Fuller, VDHC:  1:00 PM – 3:45 PM
Break:  3:45 PM – 4:00 PM
Panel Discussion: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Training by William E. Fuller, Ph.D. of VA Housing Development Authority
Panel: Accessible Housing in Alexandria.

•  Tom Sachs, AIA, Oudens Knoop Knoop + Sachs Architects , Architecture, Moderator
•  Al Cox, FAIA, LEED AP, Historic Preservation Manager, Department of Planning & Zoning
•  John Catlett, MCP, Director, Code Enforcement, City of Alexandria
•  Chuck Benagh, Chair, ACPD
•  Allen Rector, Winchester Homes, Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA)

Registration will open September 12, 2011 
Phone:  703-746-3079
The Workshop is co-Sponsored by the Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities, Housing Committee; Alexandria Office of Housing; Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, Northern Virginia American Institute of Architects (NVAIA), Northern Virginia Building Industries Association (NVBIA), Virginia Building and Code Officials Association, Region V.


October 18, 2011 (Tuesday)

Presentation 3:  Panel: Mobility Issues, City Hall, Room 1101, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

This discussion is for the benefit of City staff, City Council members, and their guests
Panel: Robert Fulk, Paratransit Coordinator, T&ES, City of Alexandria,
Moderator of Panel
•  Sandy Modell, General Manager, DASH
•  Robbie Werth, President, Diamond Transportation
•  Janet Barnett, Exec. Dir., Senior Services of Alexandria
•  Kristie McLaughlin, Easter Seals

Display of Accessible Vehicles and Demonstrations of their Use
The following accessible vehicles will be on display at Market Square on the street from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM:
•  Accessible Transit bus
•  Accessible Mini-Bus
•  Accessible Taxi
•  Accessible Trolley bus

Their use will be demonstrated from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM.


October 25, 2011 (Tuesday)

Presentation 4:  Employment Issues, The Lee Center, 9 AM - Noon

•  VA Department of Rehabilitative Services Presentation on workplace disability awareness, rehabilitative engineering, including interactive exercises.

These trainings are presented to the city and the people of Alexandria under the auspices of the Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities (ACPD), Charles Benagh, Chairman, and the Commission’s  Committee on Accessibility Awareness Trainings, Beverly R. Hoffmann, Chairperson.


Sponsors logoDonors who make this series possible are:

City of Alexandria:
Transportation and Environmental Services
Office of Human Rights
Human Resources Department
Alexandria Transit Company - DASH

Corporate Sponsors:
Diamond Transportation, Inc.
Pat Troy’s Ireland’s Own Restaurant
Holiday Inn & Suites (First Street)

Nonprofit Sponsors:
Alexandria Chamber of Commerce
American Public Works Association: VA, DC, MD, West VA Chapter
Goodwin House
Virginia Building and Code Officials Association, Region V

Michele S. Ohmes, donation of selected expenses
Mollie Danforth

ACPD acknowledges the invaluable advice and counsel of Vice Mayor Kerry Donley, Richard Baier of Transportation & Environmental Services, Robert Fulk of Transportation and Environmental Services, Mike Hatfield of Office of Human Rights, Helen McIlvaine of Office of Housing, Teri Bertsch, ACPD member, Dr. Mary Parker, Consultant & ACPD member, Tina Leone, Executive Director of Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, Mollie Danforth, ACPD member, Mr. Carey Roessel, ACPD Volunteer.