about the ABC's of Accessibility
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title: about the ABCs of Accessibility

The ABCs of Accessibility® inc is dedicated to providing proactive Universal and Accessible design consulting services to support your unique needs. Our firm offers professional multi-faceted services for residential and commercial projects.

See Also: Commercial Services | Custom Training & Conference Presentations | About the Founder and Principal

Residential Services

The following list is a brief overview:

  • We perform a thorough client assessment to establish the scope of the personal needs combined with the physical living environment. Our focus is on the functions performed and the potential barriers that may impede good access. We feel this first step is vital for a successful outcome.

  • We provide as-built (existing floor plan) drawings as a base from which to redesign the space(s)

  • We provide concept plans to establish the modifications

  • We create a complete set of finished plans of the changes desired, ready for permit

  • We prepare a complete product finish specification package for the contractor to accurately use in the budget development phase. Some products for universal and accessible construction projects are often unfamiliar to contractors. We take the guess work out of the selection of materials and provide the integration of aesthetics we all desire.

  • We support the bid process providing the bid package to the contractors and assist you in the final contractor selection process.

  • Construction site visits at least weekly are another service we provide. We believe it is important to closely monitor the construction process to ensure the drawings are implemented correctly. Unfortunately, the features often used in creating accessible and universal design are not “common” practices and require a greater level of supervision.

  • A Post-Occupancy evaluation completes the process to ensure the recommended design modifications are functioning the way we intended.

  • Our design and construction services support home modifications as well as custom homes.

  • We support Life Care Planners and others in related fields to establish a Comprehensive Home Modification Plan for long term fiduciary planning.

  • We provide professional Expert Witness support services to attorneys for primarily personal injury cases.

  • We provide plan reviews & consultation to architects and design professionals.

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Commercial Services

  • We provide complete support to public and private entities, in meeting compliance with The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design. Services range from site surveys with a supporting document indicating the areas of non-compliance with “readily achievable” solutions to full implementation. Staff training on understanding the sprit of the ADA and plan reviews to ensure compliance are also apart of our services. 

  • We provide new project planning & construction support combining Federal, State and Local accessibility guidelines.

  • We strive to integrate Universal Design principles in our project consulting to be more inclusive than just meeting minimum standards.

  • If YOU have other needs please ask….

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Custom Training & Conference Presentations

  • We customize trainings for organizations who desire additional understanding of the varied aspects of Universal and Accessible design and construction. No group is too small. We specialize in planting seeds!

  • We bring our history and experience of over 30 years to your conference or workshops to provide vital information & energy about the need for inclusive design in public and private settings.  

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About the Founder and Principal

susan m duncanSusan M. Duncan, R.N., Designer is the founder and principal of The ABCs of Accessibility® inc. She has combined her thirty five years of experiences as a both a designer and a Registered Nurse to create a company that is vitally needed for the 21st Century.

In 1990, Ms. Duncan embraced The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a civil rights law of 1990, and began providing ADA consultation services to public and private entities. In conjunction with the ADA and other related building codes Susan successfully incorporated Universal Design into projects such as the new Dreamliner airplane in The Boeing Company; the Sound Transit system with a focus on pedestrian safety and mobility for individuals who are blind; Talking Book and Braille Library new facility; and the Department of Services for the Blind major school remodel in Seattle, WA.

In addition to the commercial projects she has continued to assist hundreds of individuals build and modify homes to accommodate their unique abilities including a project in Saudi Arabia.

Ms. Duncan has served as an Associate of the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence (FPCE) at the University of Southern California (USC) Andrus Gerontology Center. In that capacity, she was an instructor for the Executive Certificate in Home Modification program, a project of the FPCE and USC's National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification (www.homemods.com). Susan is a respected lecturer who speaks internationally on issues including the practical applications behind Universal Design, the ADA and her decade’s of cross-disability experiences. 

In her spare time, she is executive producer of an award winning educational video series on accessible design and construction for living environments. Ms. Duncan has also invented and patented a space planning design tool, the “Visualizer® Set”, which was introduced to the market in 2004. 

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