As one of his last initiatives as acting NIH director, Dr. Raynard Kington in August assured that NIH “is making every effort to ensure that our campus and our research activities are accessible to all. The NIH strives to meet and exceed all accessibility standards and to make reasonable accommodations as needed.”
He shared a set of recommendations:
Ongoing efforts to remove accessibility barriers—“Improvements are being made to sidewalks and doors, and we are developing an interactive, web-based map (plus hard copies at locations such as the Gateway Center) indicating the most accessible way to get to and enter NIH campus buildings,” said Kington. The Office of Research Facilities can typically fund facility-related enhancements, such as automated doors in order to provide enhanced accessibility. The ORF point of contact for such enhancements is Tracey Johnson-Butler, an architect who may be reached at (301) 402-8494; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Designation of priority seating in auditoriums and cafeterias—Designations have been placed in NIH’s largest conference rooms and will soon appear in cafeterias. These designations do not preclude the use of this seating by other individuals but should be made available to people with disabilities when requested.
Increased enforcement of disabled parking restrictions—Individuals parking in disabled spaces will be randomly asked to provide the state-issued disability parking certification in addition to having a disability parking hanger.
Parking assistance—Valet attendants are available at lot 31B to assist with disability parking for Bldgs. 31, 33 and the Bldg. 6 cluster. Attendants at other lots will also assist people with disabilities and others with parking.
Utilization of the NIH Police special events unit to assist with parking at campus events—The unit (301-402-9133) can assist in obtaining parking for events on campus when given advance notice.
Travel Accommodations—“We are seeking to broaden reasonable travel accommodations for employees with disabilities who attend local meetings,” Kington noted.