Long before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed into law, Kirk Tcherneshoff was advocating for himself and for others with disabilities. He was injured in a car accident in 1977 and has been a wheelchair user ever since. In 1981 he and several other students at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB) founded a group for people with disabilities known as The Fellowship of Rehabilitation Counselors, Educators, and Students (FORCES) to help eliminate the barriers on campus that they dealt with everyday as they tried to attend classes. In 1989 while Kirk was serving as the Programs Coordinator for the Birmingham Independent Living Center, he took measurements of colleague's wheelchairs, the widths of vans and lifts, and measured heights which could be reached when seated. Many other measurements were gathered sampling different people with disabilities with varying body sizes and equipment they used. This information was sent to the Access Board to provide comments on what would eventually grow into the ADA.
During the summer of 1992 and 1993 Kirk was trained under a special initiative by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on the regulations and standards of the ADA. He was one of only 200 people with disabilities to finish both courses of study. Following this training Kirk worked for Evan Terry Associates for the next 4 years providing compliance surveys, technical assistance, writing articles, and performing plan review. In the fall of 1996, Kirk started his own ADA consulting company called Tcherneshoff Consulting, Inc.
To date, Kirk has surveyed or conducted plan review for over 1,500 facilities across every industry. From barber shops to large resorts, restaurants to Daytona and Talladega International Motor Speedways, and from a city park to an entire municipality Kirk has been involved in ADA compliance in 40+ states across the country. He stays on the cutting edge of the latest standards and regulations that are being considered or developed. He is frequently asked to speak to large professional organizations regarding the continually evolving ADA.
Steve is a member of the American Institute of Architects, Steve is devoted exclusively to inclusive design, accessibility, and equality. For over twenty years, he has provided peer review for other architects, to ensure that capital projects will be compliant with federal and state civil rights law as it pertains to people with disabilities. When the Americans with Disabilities Act was in its infancy, he was among the first to offer consultation to businesses, institutions, and municipalities, as they stepped forward to meet their responsibility to remove barriers to access.
Steve's knowledge to the team provides commercial real estate assessment, to ascertain ADA and Fair Housing compliance for owners and prospective owners nationwide. He performs access audits of buildings and facilities, to serve as a point of departure for accessibility compliance initiatives, and has provided litigation support in the settlement of hundreds of civil rights cases along these lines. He evaluates programs, policies, and procedures, to lay the foundation for the development of comprehensive policies of inclusion. Steve is a registered architect in six states, and holds certification and reciprocity from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.
Laurie is an experienced and innovative interior designer focused on accessibility in design. She attended Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. After college she moved to Washington D.C. for a year to gain experience with a design firm.
In 2011, Laurie started work at Tcherneshoff Consulting, Inc. where Kirk has taken her under his wing to teach her and train her in the ADA. In the past 5 years, Laurie has been on numerous survey’s to experience in the field training as well as worked on countless architectural drawings where she has put her knowledge of AutoCAD to good use.
Laurie’s goal at TCI is to have the eye to provide aesthetically pleasing design in accessibility. She wants all buildings to look beautiful and be on the cutting edge of design while maintaining accessibility in these facilities.
Blake began his career in accounting and graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting.
His desire to work for a greater cause was influenced by the President of the company, Kirk Tcherneshoff. He began training under Kirk in June of 2017 and has dedicated his time to becoming a full-time ADA consultant in many states across the country. Blake has now surveyed over 250 different types of facilities ranging from small fast food restaurants to large entertainment venues.
His goal is to become an expert in the ADA field while making the world accessible for all people.