ADA Training


Looking where to get ADA training for Architects?

You’ve arrived at the right place! This page is dedicated to resources and information related to obtaining the required Continuing Education on Disability Access for California licensed architects.

Arriving at this site you are probably aware, in the state of California, architects are required to complete 5 hours of mandatory continuing education related to disability access. As a licensed architect myself, and going through the paces to get the training required in 2011 and now again for 2013 I’ve come across options for courses and resources many of you may not be aware of. Both paid and free (yes, free!).

I will be updating this page often as I encounter new information related to the specific requirements and provide information where you may actually get the training you need to satisfy the requirement. We’ve all received mass-mailings around the time our license needs renewal and it can be very confusing and frustrating to know what precisely we need to do and how much to spend.

Please also see my other pages for specific ADA topics:

Truncated Domes: What you need to know to comply.

California Requirements:

The following are excerpts from the state’s website: (Please note that I encourage you to visit the state’s website yourself in case there are any changes)

California Architects Board ADA Training Requirements

Basic Requirements:

(Bill) SB 1608 requires that architects, as part of the license renewal requirements:

  1. Certify on the license renewal application that s/he has completed the required five hours of coursework on disability access requirements within the previous two years.
  2. Provide information about the coursework on the renewal application indicating the course title, subjects covered, name of provider and trainer or educator, date of completion, number of hours completed, and a statement about the trainer or educator’s knowledge and experience background in disability access requirements.

Coursework Requirements:

The bill specifies that licensees complete five hours of coursework on disability access requirements within the previous two years. The coursework on disability access requirements must include information and practical guidance concerning the requirements imposed by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-336; 42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq.), state laws that govern access to public facilities, and federal and state regulations adopted pursuant to those laws. The coursework must also be presented by trainers or educators with knowledge and background experience in disability access requirements. The Board does not have the authority to approve course providers or courses. Coursework on disability access requirements is available from a variety of sources. Below are some of the sources to assist architects in finding courses. However, the Board does not endorse any specific course or provider. Other providers are available, including online providers. When selecting a course, be sure to choose one that the course content meets the requirements described above. Verify that the material is presented by trainers or educators with knowledge and experience background in disability access requirements.

Where to get the training:

Paid courses:   Paid courses offer a more sophisticated course type to learn from established professionals in the industry with vast experience. These often include multimedia presentations easily completed online from the comfort of your home. Others may be a class you attend in which you can learn from others as various question/answer sessions typically follow.


GreenCE, Inc.   This unique site provides ADA plus Barrier-Free premium courses at a low price. Their courses satisfy both California and Texas’ requirements for continuing education. GreenCE, Inc. is currently offering a discount if purchasing multiple courses. See their site for more details. They also provide LEED courses and I will be discussing this subject on an upcoming page.

FREE options:   (Note that these may require you to take more than one course as many are just 1 hour or so but, being free if you have the time it’s worth it).

AEC Daily   I’ve taken a few courses from them in 2011 and again in 2013. They are straightforward and interesting in that some contain aspects of Universal Design. Recently I’ve noticed they’ve added more historical information at the beginning of the courses about the ADA along with the newer 2010 requirements now that the compliance period has arrived.

Ron Blank and Associates
Here is a 1-hour FREE course from their site. Introduction to Barrier-free design. I’ve taken this course and it’s really helpful in providing good beginning overall information.

Architectural Record Continuing Education Center  Here is a free 1-hour course related to Vertical Wheelchair Lifts

WDBG (Whole Building Design Guide) Principles and Goals of Accessibile Design – Free 1-hour course.


Other Options:  

The AIA often provides paid courses and is a good resource. I will add more links as they become available.

Study Guides and Manuals:

Getting the best price tip! You can add an item to your cart on Amazon at any time and don’t have to purchase right away. Each time you visit your cart Amazon will note at the top any pricing changes. Your own personalized price-tracking tool. Makes it much easier to track what you want to buy later.

Applying the ADA: A great source for real world applications.

The ADA Companion Guide: A guide with commentary

2013 California Building Code: Includes most ADA and the requirement for code compliance in California

CalDAG 2011

CalDAG 2011: An Interpretive Manual and Checklist
This is THE book to own. This is the go-to reference manual that you will get the most use out of. It’s probably at 99% of California architect’s offices. It’s the only book available combining and cross-referencing 2010 California Building Code regulations with federal ADA requirements!


Official documents:   Most government documents are now available for free on the web.


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