Absolutely Accessible Kent

Join us for our fourth annual Absolutely Accessible Kent workshop! This educational event will bring together architects, builders, designers, city planning professionals, public officials, and organizations of all types and sizes. In short, anyone interested in learning the power of fully-inclusive, Universal Design is welcome and will benefit!

People of all backgrounds and ability levels are encouraged to attend. Please leave a note in your registration if you require any form of accommodation.

Where possible, we are happy to also collaborate with credentialing organizations in other disciplines as well. Reach out to patrick.p@dakc.us for assistance.

For attending architects, we are pursuing certification for AIA Continuing Education Credits. Please list your AIA Member Name and Member Number for submission upon verification of attendance. 

Program for the Event

9:30am – 9:50amCheck-in & Announcements
9:55am – 11:25amBreakout Presentations (Below)
11:30am – 12:00pmBreak / Lunch Begins (Boxed Lunches Provided)
12:00pm – 1:00pmLunch Keynote Address / Q&A, Concluding Remarks


Architecture Track:

DEAFSPACE: “Cultural Origins, Architectural Applications + Implications for Intersectional/Inclusive Design”

In this presentation, attendees will learn about an innovative branch of inclusive design called DeafSpace. This approach draws on the unique ways Deaf people inhabit, construct, and identify with their world. As a prime example of human-centered architecture, DeafSpace offers widely- applicable insights into the intersectional needs of people with different abilities, identities, ages, and backgrounds. Award-winning architect Hansel Bauman, who helped pioneer the DeafSpace Project at Gallaudet University in 2006, will chronicle how Deaf cultural traditions of spatial modification have inspired and translated into architectural guidelines. Additionally, Bauman’s case studies will demonstrate how DeafSpace applies and advances inclusive design through user-directed methodologies also inspired by Deaf culture.

Urban Planning Track:

“Universal Design: Best Practices for City Planning” with Jonathan White, University of Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access

In this presentation, attendees will learn how Universal Design improves lives by fostering more accessible communities while also aligning with common city planning goals like safety and sustainability. Attendees will explore Universal Design solutions across the following range of city planning topics:

  • Zoning & Neighborhood Character
  • Sustainability & Walkability
  • Transportation & Access to Services
  • Affordability
  • Safety & Crime Prevention

The presentation will conclude with a case study of recent research on “Complete Streets” as just one approach to achieving more accessible cities.

Our Presenters

Robin Jones
Robin Jones

Great Lakes ADA Center
Robin Jones is Director of the Great Lakes ADA Center and an Instructor in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois (UIC) at Chicago.  Formerly, she served as director of an independent living center, as a senior occupational therapy assistant at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and as Assistant to the Head within the School of Occupational Therapy at UIC.  Robin has academic degrees in the field of Occupational Therapy and Public Administration.  She has extensive experience providing training and consultation regarding the ADA for business and government within the Great Lakes Region and beyond.  

Hansel Bauman
Hansel Bauman

Principal Hansel Bauman Architecture + Planning
Hansel Bauman is a recognized leader in Human-centered Design specializing in DeafSpace design. Prior to entering private practice, he served as Gallaudet University’s Executive Director of Campus Design and Planning and adjunct faculty beginning in 2009. In Collaboration with Gallaudet’s Department of ASL and Deaf Studies, he established the DeafSpace Project in 2006, which explored connections between architecture and Deaf experiences. Specifically, this work codified deaf socio-spatial patterns into the Gallaudet DeafSpace Design Guidelines, which received the International Association of Universal Design, Gold Award in 2015. Bauman lectures internationally, with work featured at the Copper Hewitt, Smithsonian Museum in New York and in major publications such as Metropolis and The Economist. He serves on the ANSI Accessibility Standards Committee and recently advised the US Green Building Council on new LEED Pilot Credits for Inclusive Design.

Johnathan White
Johnathan White

Design Director, The University of Buffalo Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access
The IDEA Center is considered the premier Research & Development center on accessibility and Universal Design in the United States. The IDEA Center currently houses the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Universal Design and the Built Environment (RERC-UD), the only federally funded research and development center focused on Universal Design in North America. The RERC-UD has projects studying the effectiveness of Universal Design and several human factors issues that provide both new knowledge about Universal Design and new tools for practice.
Jonathan White is a licensed Architect in the State of Ohio and has extensive experience with evaluating facilities and drawings for Universal Design and compliance with accessibility regulations. He recently led a post-occupancy evaluation of a universally designed facility and was directly involved in the development of the innovative solutions for Universal Design (isUD). He has also taught senior studios in the environmental design program as well as graduate level electives in the architecture program.