To enhance visitor experience, VHB led the project scoping under both the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) for improved accessibility at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Prior to project completion, visitors approaching the Thomas Jefferson Memorial from the Tidal Basin had to travel 1,000 feet to the south side of the Memorial to reach the accessible entrance. Using the Seven Principles of Universal Design, the project makes the Memorial accessible to visitors, including those with mobility, sensory, and cognitive disabilities. The project also met the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards (ABAAS) and serves as an example of best practices for providing access to all visitors for planning and completion of future Targeted Accessibility Improvement Program (TAIP) projects.
During public outreach, the project team worked together to create an extraordinarily accessible meeting, hosted at the Washington, DC offices for the American Association of People with Disabilities. In addition to traditional boards describing the proposed improvements, this meeting offered a physical model of the memorial and a Braille translation of the proposed improvements. During the live presentation, an American Sign Language interpretation was provided, as well as text transcription and audio descriptions of the graphics.
VHB’s scope of work also included topographic survey, pre-design and schematic design, design development, stormwater plan coordination, construction cost estimates, and construction documents.