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GSA’s Brita Opens Building Design Workshop to Assist Vision-Impaired Employees

GSA Deputy Administrator Susan Brita joined federal agencies and rehabilitation professionals to discuss the challenges employees with vision loss have in and around the workplace.  The workshop, “Improving Building Design for Persons with Low Vision,” focused on finding solutions to fully integrate visually impaired persons into the workforce. The workshop was hosted by the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) in Washington, DC.

“The issue of accessibility is huge in federal buildings and GSA is committed to making federal facilities fully accessible to all people,”  Brita said during her opening remarks. “Achieving accessibility is reflected in our commitment to make sure that new buildings and those being retrofitted are designed with accessibility built-in, not added on. GSA is very aware of the needs of the disabled community, and fully committed to making sure that employees and visitors with disabilities are integrated in the workplace.”

Guests from federal agencies, health institutes, and rehabilitation and research centers discussed the needs of employees with vision loss, and the impact of building and workplace design on their performance and mobility. Presentations included the best types of office settings and design solutions to improve the workplace. Participants brainstormed improvements in standards and guidelines for immediate and future building design.