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Harvard Graduate School of Design

Fair Housing, ADA, ABA, and 504 Access to Housing and Dorms

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Join a team of experienced accessibility specialists for a one-day intermediate-to-advanced workshop focused on federal accessibility laws related to residential design and construction, including the Fair Housing Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Architectural Barriers Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. With many recent lawsuits filed alleging the failure to comply with the architectural provisions of the Fair Housing Amendments Act, this more interactive session will allow participants to explore common FHA violations and discuss the often obscure provisions of the HUD “safe harbor” documents.

This session complements the two-day ADA session on Monday and Tuesday. A 10% discount off tuition is available when you register for both sessions.

Recognizing that the new ADA residential design provisions became effective relatively recently, this session will also cover the key residential design issues and potential accessibility pitfalls associated with the 2010 ADA Standards and the similar Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) provisions. Familiarity with these ADA Standards will be beneficial to those who design housing for entities receiving federal financial assistance because HUD has published a “deeming notice” allowing, with a few exceptions, the residential provisions of the 2010 ADA Standards to be “deemed” an acceptable design Standard for compliance Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. For state and local governmental agencies offering or managing residential programs, this session will include interactive discussions on the ADA “supplemental requirements” associated with residential dwelling units, ADA/504 program accessibility requirements for housing, “safe harbor” provisions, and the appropriate use of the older Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize recent additions and changes to accessibility standards, guidelines, and requirements
  • Articulate why changes have been made in the various requirements and the benefits they will provide for people with disabilities, facility owners, and managers
  • Apply new requirements to solve real-world problem scenarios
  • Learn how to research, analyze, and formulate solid interpretations of access questions to respond to users, clients, plaintiffs’ attorneys, and the courts

Who should attend

Architects, Interior designers, Engineers, Landscape architects, Facility managers, Access specialists, ADA coordinators, Civil rights attorneys


Bill Hecker, AIA, is an architect and accessibility consultant at Hecker Design, LLC, Birmingham, AL. He has been involved in numerous landmark lawsuits related to the Fair Housing Act, ADA hotel requirements, movie theaters, and curb ramp transition plans. Since 1994 he has been an expert witnes...
Mark has specialized in designing and consulting for persons with disabilities for more than 30 years. In his eight years with the Federal Government, Mark was an architect in DOJ’s Housing and Civil Enforcement and Disability Rights Sections and the senior advisor on accessibility issues in HUD’...
Marsha Mazz joined the staff of the U.S. Access Board in 1989 and serves as the Director of the Office of Technical and Information Services which is responsible for the development and maintenance of the Boards accessibility guidelines and standards as well as its training and technical assistan...
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