Berkeley Lab

Facilities, All Access Rolling Out Program to Show Conference Room Accessibility

Photo of Misha Gonzalez using a click wheel in front of Wang Hall at Berkeley Lab.

Misha Gonzalez, All Access co-chair and an architect in the Facilities Division, measures the distance between disabled parking spaces and conference rooms, one of 16 accessibility questions in an accessibility survey.

As part of Disability Inclusion Month at the lab, Facilities and All Access, the lab’s Disability Inclusion Employee Resource Group, are launching a program to assess the overall accessibility of 104 conference rooms across the site.

Heading the project is Misha Gonzalez, co-chair of All Access and an architect in the Facilities Division who is tasked with architectural system oversight and ADA compliance around the lab. Information collected by the project will be fed into an online database of conference rooms which was created by the IT Division.

An accessibility survey form for each room will include 16 questions about everything from the distance to disabled-accessible parking spaces and shuttle bus stops to the type of door handles to how easily furniture can be moved around the room.

“Our goal is to survey each room, systematically assess the various mobility factors and then assign an ‘ease of access’ rating to the room,” Gonzalez said. “This will help meeting organizers better decide if a space meets the needs of all attendees. And we hope it will get more people thinking about obstacles that can prevent everyone from participating in meetings and events.”

To do the job, Gonzalez has purchased several roller meters that track distances in feet and inches, as well as several tape measures for checking doorway widths.

Employees interested in helping with the survey can contact Gonzalez at mishagonzalez@lbl.gov.