RSVP for From Accessible to Universal Design and Back Again with Rex Pace on November 18, 2021

Submitted by anoopa on Mon, 11/08/2021 - 15:33

What is the right balance between mandates of accessible design standards and the aspirations for fully inclusive environments? 

The answer still is evolving and maybe always will be but there have been a lot of lessons learned over the past 30 years. While the necessity of minimum standards, such as the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, has been reinforced, it is also apparent that ultimate success requires the mindset of inclusive design. In this session Rex Pace will share his experience and insights that have evolved while working on these issues in private sector, academic, and governmental roles.

The discussion will revolve around the interrelationship of minimum accessibility requirements, good design choices, and emerging issues with little precedence. Rex will draw on his own design challenges and offer his take on how to handle the competing issues. He has lived both sides of the story, not only applying accessible design standards but also having the responsibility of developing them. 

Ultimately, Rex is ever confident in the creativity of designers to transform the basic building blocks of the requirements into vibrant environments that work for real people.

Event Details

Title: From Accessible to Universal Design and Back Again: A Journey of Balancing Building Standards with Truly Inclusive Environments Presented by Rex J. Pace, Senior Advisor for Accessible Design at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

with Q&A Panelists: 

Gina Hilberry, AIA, Principal Architect of Cohen Hilberry Architects 

Chris Downey, AIA, Principal, Architecture for the Blind

Emmanuel Andrade, MPA, RA, NCARB, Senior Project Manager at the Office of Planning within the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance

Date: Thursday, November 18, 2021

Time: 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST

Location: Online Event. RSVP for Zoom details.

AIA Credits: 2 AIA credits can be earned by joining this Webcast

If you have any questions or concerns or would like to request an accommodation, please email us at 

Closed captioning will be provided.

About the Speaker

Rex Pace has over 30 years of experience making the built environment more inclusive with a focus on building access for people with disabilities. He is currently at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity’s Senior Advisor for Accessible Design and works on issues related to the Fair Housing Act, Rehabilitation Act, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Architectural Barriers Act (ABA). Rex came to HUD from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) where he managed their National Accessibility Program to ensure the accessible design of federal facilities.

Prior to GSA, Rex worked at the U.S. Access Board where he was a senior accessibility specialist and oversaw the technical assistance program. While there, he was a co-lead on the rule-making to set standards for accessible medical diagnostic equipment. His federal experience also includes the U.S. Department of Justice's Disability Rights Section. He was extensively involved in enforcement efforts, developing technical assistance documents, and promulgating regulations for the 2010 ADA Standards. Before joining DOJ in 2006, he operated a consultancy specializing in accessible and universal design and earlier served as a lead designer for the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University (NCSU). Rex is a graduate from the College of Design at NCSU. He began work in this field in 1987 as an illustrator at Barrier Free Environments, Inc. under his mentor Ron Mace, FAIA, a renowned pioneer in universal design. 

About the Panelists

Gina Hilberry, AIA

Ms. Hilberry has almost 40 years of experience as a practicing architect in the St. Louis area and has been a staff consultant and architect for the Institute for Human Centered Design in Boston for more than 10 years. Her consulting and architectural work focuses primarily on accessibility and inclusive design in historic preservation, complex renovation projects, and new construction. In addition, Ms. Hilberry taught more than 15 years at Washington University in St. Louis School of Architecture. She is the Vice-Chair of the ANSI A117.1 Standards Development Committee, Chair of the A117.1 Scoping Task Group, and Co-Chair of the Advisory Council for the City of St. Louis Office on the Disabled. Ms. Hilberry served the Access Board on the Public Rights-of-Way Advisory Committee and assisted with the development of the current PROW Guidelines and with training sessions held by the Access Board in various jurisdictions. Ms. Hilberry is an expert on accessibility and inclusive design and provides seminars internationally. 

Chris Downey, AIA

Chris Downey, AIA is an architect with over 30 years of professional practice continuing without sight since 2008. Chris specializes in Universal /Inclusive design within projects specifically for the blind and visually impaired including rehabilitation centers, schools, eye clinics and more generally in office environments, cultural centers and transit projects. He has been featured in numerous media stories including “60 Minutes”, speaks internationally, has taught Universal Design for the UCB Department of Architecture and serves on the California Commission on Disability Access as well as the Board of Directors for the San Francisco LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Emmanuel Andrade, MPA, RA, NCARB

Emmanuel Andrade is an architect and planner at the Office of Planning within the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) in Massachusetts. At DCAMM, he serves as an advisor to the Statewide Accessibility Initiative, Massachusetts' model initiative on accessibility and universal design. The Statewide Accessibility Initiative assists state agencies in addressing accessibility compliance and achieving inclusive design through master plans, design and construction, deferred maintenance spending, and the procurement of leased properties.


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