Santa Rosa / Oakland, Calif., Aug. 21, 2023 – Olivia Mae Asuncion, a project architect at Quattrocchi Kwok Architects (QKA), was sworn in as the newest member of the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board (U.S. Access Board). Appointed by President Biden and announced by the U.S. Access Board, Asuncion joins 12 members of the public and 12 federal members of other departments to counsel on making physical spaces more accessible for people with disabilities.
The U.S. Access Board is an independent federal agency that promotes equality for people with disabilities through leadership in accessible design and the development of accessibility guidelines and standards. The Board develops and maintains design criteria for the built environment, transit vehicles, telecommunications equipment, medical diagnostic equipment, and information technology.
“I am extremely excited and honored to have this opportunity to make positive change on a national level,” said Asuncion. “As a practicing architect, and a disabled one who keenly understands the barriers and challenges with accessibility, I know that I can offer a unique perspective to push for progress in making physical spaces as inclusive as possible for all.”
Throughout her professional career, Asuncion has worked to achieve social equity and accessibility through thoughtful and meaningful architecture. At QKA, Asuncion designs K-12 educational facilities. Recent projects include a new elementary multi-purpose room, middle school classroom buildings and renovations to a rural high school, in addition to sharing her expertise to help all QKA projects be more inclusive to students with disabilities. She also has experience designing public safety buildings, public sector offices and community spaces. A dedicated researcher, Asuncion is a Fulbright Scholar and frequently speaks about the importance of inclusivity and accessibility in the built environment. She earned her B.A. in architecture from U.C. Berkeley (2010) and her Masters in architecture with a specialization in social and universal design from the University of Oregon (2015).
“Olivia’s story, perseverance, design talent and advocacy make her an exceptional choice for this appointment,” said QKA Principal, CEO and President Aaron Jobson. “As an education design firm, Olivia brings so much value to our work, helping to make school facilities across the Bay Area more inclusive and equitable for all students. Having recently completed her Fulbright Program, she continues to make a big impact and we are incredibly proud of her work and accomplishments.”
About Quattrocchi Kwok Architects
QKA provides comprehensive master planning and design services for K-12 and higher education, historic renovation, and community facilities in Northern California. With more than $2.5 billion in projects completed in its 37-year history, QKA’s award-winning portfolio reflects a commitment to design that emphasizes environmental sustainability and community impact. Building Design + Construction has recognized QKA as one of the nation’s top K-12 and BIM (building information modeling) architecture firms. Engineering News-Record has called it one of America’s top design firms. Majority employee-owned through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), visit qka.com to learn more.
About the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board
The Board is an independent federal agency that provides leadership in accessible design under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other laws. The Board is structured to function as a coordinating body among federal agencies and to directly represent the public, particularly people with disabilities. Twelve members of the governing Board are representatives from most of the federal departments. The other 13 are comprised of members of the public appointed by the President to four-year terms. More information can be found on the Board Members webpage.