About the ABCs of Accessibility®

The ABCs of Accessibility® inc is dedicated to providing proactive Accessible design and consulting services for residential and commercial projects, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

See Also: Residential Services ADA/Access Services | Custom Training & Conference Presentations | Design and Educational Tools

About the Founder and Principal

picture of susan m duncan

Susan M. Duncan, RN, Designer brings more than 35 years of hands-on accessibility consulting experience to her clients through her firm The ABCs of Accessibility® inc. She possesses in-depth knowledge of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), of 1990 including the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, the (SNPRM) Proposed Public Right-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG) 2013, as well as Universal Design best practices. She is an experienced project manager who can both evaluate and advise public and private sectors on a broad range of compliance issues, including program access, services, policies, and practices as well as physical barriers in buildings and sites.

Ms. Duncan has combined her extraordinary depth of experiences as a Registered Nurse and designer to assist thousands of individuals build and modify homes to meet the overarching goals of creating options, independence and improving quality of life. Projects have ranged from new multi-family housing projects, including the Navaho Housing Authority, to custom homes spanning the globe from Alaska to Saudi Arabia.

On the other side of the coin is her passion for ensuring private and public spaces including community walkability meet ADA compliance. Her expertise includes:

  • ADA compliance survey assessments, including public right-of-way pedestrian facilities
  • Self-Evaluation & Transition plan development (ADA Title II)
  • Self-Assessment and barrier removal plan development (ADA Title III)
  • Project management
  • Design and specification consultation
  • Third-party plan review and settlement agreement support
  • Hands-on ADA compliance trainer
  • Universal Design workshop trainer
  • International accessibility educator and speaker

In conjunction with the ADA and related building codes Susan successfully incorporated Universal Design into projects such as the new Dreamliner airplane in The Boeing Company; the Sound Transit Light Rail 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. Susan enjoys working on projects where the design considerations are inclusive of state-of-the-art products and materials, such as tactile exhibit maps and talking tactile pens to access images for rich interactivity, to enhance the user experience.

Ms. Duncan has a passion for teaching and empowering people who want to embrace inclusive living. She remains active in continuing to explore new ways to improve delivery methods for accessible projects and does so by teaching. Susan serve's as an Associate of the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence at the University of Southern California’s Andrus Gerontology Center. In that capacity, she is an instructor for the Executive Certificate in Home Modification online program. In addition, Ms. Duncan taught for 3 years at Seattle Pacific University a required course she developed, ‘Universal Design in Housing’ for the Interior Design program. Susan is a respected lecturer who speaks internationally on issues including the practical applications behind Universal and Ageless Design, the ADA and her decades of cross-disability experiences.

Susan is also an inventor and holds a patent on a space planning design tool, the Visualizer® Set, which models the movements of people using a wheelchair and similar mobility equipment. In her spare time, she is executive producer of an award winning educational video series on accessible design and construction for living environments.

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