Trying to keep up with Dominic Marinelli, Vice President of Accessibility Services (a program of United Spinal Association), can be exhausting. In any given week he may be driving to a neighboring state to review a building site for accessibility compliance, flying across the country to provide expert testimony in court or camped out in a borrowed office making use of a few free hours to review architectural plans to ensure all the features required and necessary for people with disabilities will be included. After 26 years with United Spinal, Mr. Marinelli has seen the inside of countless bathroom stalls, measured miles of parking spaces and trained thousands of architects, all in an effort to make the built environment accessible to wheelchair users and others with disabilities.
Accessibility Services has been involved with many interesting projects – the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, Princeton and Cornell Universities, Madison Square Garden, PepsiCo, Fours Season Hotel in Las Vegas, and projects with the Army Corps of Engineers to name just a couple. In the last few years the team has had the chance to consult on another exciting type of venue – sports stadiums. Accessibility Services was instrumental in providing guidance regarding accessibility requirements for Citi Field (Mets) and the new Yankee Stadium in New York City as well as consulting on the Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia 76ers), American Airlines Arena (Miami Heat), Ralph Wilson Stadium (Buffalo Bills) and many others.
These days, Mr. Marinelli is working with accessibility specialists and coordinators in the Minnesota and Georgia state governments, along with the partnering architectural firms to ensure that new stadiums being built or old ones being renovated in their states are up to code. This includes the new Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Falcons stadiums, the new Minnesota Vikings stadium, and Target Center, the existing home of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Accessibility Services has assisted in creating accessibility advisory committees in each of these communities to ensure that local disability leaders and fans with disabilities have a chance to provide input in the design process and the accessibility features of the venues. The team has received excellent feedback from the committees and they look forward to continuing the collaboration throughout the construction process.
Whether it be at a stadium that will serve tens of thousands of fans, a corner cafe or a residential building full of families, you can be sure that Dominic Marinelli and the rest of the Accessibility Services team will continue to be hard at work all over the country ensuring access for you.
You can learn more about United Spinal’s Accessibility Services program by visiting www.accessibility-services.com/.
Senior Program Advisor