Accessible Children's Play Element

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Accessibility Training Program

Contra Costa County Training

Contra Costa County (CCC), in response to complaints from persons with disabilities for lack of enforcement of the accessibility codes and regulations, hired Gilda Puente-Peters
Architects (GPPA) to provide a detailed and comprehensive accessibility training program for the Building Department staff.

Upon receipt of the formal complaint, CCC’s Building Official, in order to avoid litigation, immediately met with the person filing the complaint to request the opportunity to improve their situation. The Building Official was requested to have his 70 plan reviewers and inspectors go through comprehensive accessibility training, otherwise the Building Department would be sued.

GPPA conducted 60 hours of accessibility training of both classroom sessions and field trips to illustrate the issues and instruct in inspection techniques. The sessions stretched over four months so that County staff could continue their duties. Along with lectures and discussions, GPPA used a variety of techniques including plan review exercises and videos on access awareness for different disabilities. As a result of this training the plan reviewers and inspectors raised significantly their level of knowledge and confidence to perform their duties; the Building Department was not sued, and new access compliance policies and procedures were developed and updated.