The Palace Hotel is a historic 552 room "4 Diamond" luxury hotel, in downtown San Francisco. Hotel staff recently anticipated a visit from 40 members of the Access Board, the national panel of experts who set accessibility standards throughout the United States. The Palace Hotel needed its staff to be "up to speed" about how to accommodate and serve guests with all types of disabilities in an accessible environment.
Bruckner Consultants LLC developed and presented a series of seven in-depth training sessions for Palace Hotel personnel, tailored to their specific jobs--from reservations to bell staff, front office, concierges, restaurant staff, and housekeepers. Evaluation data collected after each session showed that the participants found the training sessions useful, informative and enjoyable. The resulting ease and confidence with which staff provided service led to outstanding reviews from Access Board guests.
"I want to thank you for the superb job you did for The Palace Hotel with your 'Accommodating Hotel Guests with Disabilities' training... Hotel managers and associates have come to me with a constant stream of positive comments. All agreed that the quality and depth of training was first rate."
Former Safety and
The Palace Hotel
Joie de Vivre Hospitality is an innovative chain of renowned boutique hotels, resorts and dining establishments in San Francisco, Marin and Sonoma Counties, and Silicon Valley. Bruckner Consultants LLC was approached by the Vice President for Hotel Operations with a request for a variety of services, including planning for an anticipated series of accessibility improvements at all properties, accessibility consultation for several specific properties, and customer service training for Joie de Vivre management and staff. Each service needed to be tailored to the unique character, history and theme of each property.
We provided accessibility consultation for the Commodore Hotel and the Laurel Inn. Each of these hotels was facing accessibility challenges of a unique character. The Commodore is a pre-1906 historic property whose main entrance opened directly onto a busy downtown street. The Laurel Inn is a newer property, built in the 1970s and set back from street traffic in its own parking lot. Our consultation was customized to provide options at each property for both structural barrier removal and accessible alternatives to major architectural modifications. Bruckner Consultants LLC also assisted Joie de Vivre Hospitality with prioritizing plans for future accessibility improvements at its other properties.
Concurrently, we developed and presented two half-day sessions of hands-on customer service training for seventy-five Joie de Vivre Hospitality staff and managers, who had varying responsibilities ranging from front office to restaurant, housekeeping and bell services. Our training was enjoyable, well-received and led to requests for follow-up consultation from some of the managers who attended.
"Your training was great! The session was enlightening and gave me a better understanding and awareness of people with disabilities."
Joie de Vivre Hospitality
Managers and Human Resources staff at Charles Schwab & Company wanted to achieve a better understanding of how to accommodate and retain valued employees with disabilities. Bruckner Consultants LLC staff met with representatives of a company-wide peer support organization for employees with disabilities in order to fully grasp the range of their concerns.
Bruckner Consultants LLC then designed a series of three training modules, which were presented to managers, Human Resource specialists and supervisors. The modules combined an initial self-test with informational presentations, interactive discussions, role plays of real problem situations, and group problem solving exercises. The training handout packets included practical resource materials for managers to use and keep. Following the training, participants were tested to reinforce their comprehension and retention of key training content.
"The Bruckners' consultation and educational sessions have had a tremendous impact on how we do business at Schwab and how we work with physically challenged employees... I highly recommend them to other companies."
Charles Schwab & Company
As a major employer in San Francisco, the San Francisco Community College district has periodically requested consultation about determining how best to accommodate some of their employees who become disabled on the job, and are ready to return to work following the completion of their medical leave.
Bruckner Consultants LLC has helped managers to analyze each of these employees' job functions by developing and conducting a technical process called essential functions job analysis. We have delivered the results of these analyses in written reports which included specific suggestions for possibilities for accommodating each employee. We subsequently provided follow-up consultation with the District's Associate Dean of Affirmative Action, to answer questions and assist with the follow-through of the job accommodation process.
"Your work is very thorough and professional."
Office of Affirmative Action
SF Community College District
Bruckner Consultants LLC has provided training services to the Institute on Aging, and to staff of its Linkages and Multi-Service Senior Programs throughout California, since 1997. Our ongoing collaboration with the Institute on Aging has involved providing in-depth disability education training to nurses, case managers, social workers and administrators. These professionals are thoroughly familiar with the challenges of working with seniors, but are less informed about the personal and logistical challenges, and the independent living opportunities, that disability affords younger adults.
Since adults with disabilities who are under age 65 are currently mandated by law to receive Linkages services of counseling, home-care, case management, advocacy and community support, staff needed to learn how to provide home care and support services from the perspective of independent living, to people at mid-life and younger who want to resume life in the community.
Bruckner Consultants LLC drew upon its expertise with long-term care policy development, and years of experience with human service delivery for people with disabilities, to develop a customized training program for Institute on Aging and Linkages staff. This program has included a series of half-day sessions, comprised of brief lecture presentations, group discussion, clinical consultation on case material, small group activities, and role plays for hands-on practice. The sessions have been so well-received that there are always requests for more. Bruckner Consultants has also presented them at a statewide conference, in order to reach the greatest number of Linkages staff.
"The training was insightful... I anticipate this information having a great practical use in my job and attitudes."
Clinical Staff Member
Institute on Aging
Alameda County Library, consisting of ten public library branches in seven cities and towns, was planning a major outreach campaign to people with disabilities in each community. Prior to initiating this outreach effort, library administrators approached Bruckner Consultants LLC to provide intensive customer service training at the Fremont Main Library and four local branches.
These half-day training sessions focused on techniques for providing quality, accessible services to seniors and people with all types of disabilities. The sessions were very well received; evaluation scores and comments gathered from over 80 percent of the participants were extremely positive. Following this training series, Alameda County Library has gone on to provide additional training sessions on use of adaptive computer technology for patrons with disabilities, and to begin its community outreach campaign.
"The Bruckners took our specific demographics and needs and created a customer service training that would truly benefit all who use our library services. I cannot think of a public library in the country that would not benefit immensely from the kind of training that Victoria and William Bruckner presented to over 130 of our staff. It was lively, informative and amazingly interactive. It has already resulted in improved customer service to folks with disabilities."
Senior Services Director
Disability Services Coordinator
Alameda County Library
In 1998 and 1999, the Bruckners completed the City of Brentwood Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title II Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan. Brentwood is a small, but rapidly growing city located in Contra Costa County, an hour east of San Francisco. Brentwood has both a central downtown area and expanding residential neighborhoods that feature parks, playgrounds and sports facilities.
The self-evaluation included a thorough review of City and departmental policies and procedures, including the City's employment practices, to determine whether needed policies were missing and to ensure that employment procedures and public service delivery were performed in non-discriminatory ways. The Bruckners worked closely with Brentwood's Human Resources Specialist and other key administrative and program staff, providing suggestions for sample policies, procedures and forms when needed, and delivering ongoing consultation as the project progressed.
The transition plan review involved conducting accessibility surveys of all the facilities where City programs, activities or services are made available to the public. This included numerous buildings, structures, sidewalks and parking lots, as well as seven parks and the City's athletic complex.
The resulting Transition Plan identified the structural barriers to access in City facilities, and provided a description of approaches to take for removing these barriers. Priority ratings and cost estimates for each barrier removal action were also included. The Bruckners then worked closely with City staff and City Council members, to determine which barrier removal actions would be undertaken immediately, and which would be part of a multi-year planning and implementation process.
"The Bruckners were instrumental in bringing the City of Brentwood into the 21st century in terms of our accessibility."
Former City Manager
City of Brentwood, CA
The San Diego Unified Port District, which includes the San Diego International Airport, San Diego's Port and Maritime facilities, and coastal lands and tidelands in five area cities, faced major planning initiatives in the year 2000.
As a special purpose unit of government that served the public, The Port was also required to fulfill its obligations to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Bruckner Consultants LLC created and provided the Port with an in-depth ADA Title II Self-Evaluation, which was later used in preparing the Port's Transition Plan for removal of architectural barriers to accessibility.
The ADA self-evaluation process conducted by Bruckner Consultants LLC involved a comprehensive survey of all of the Port's policies, practices and procedures for delivering programs and services to the public. This was done to identify possible procedural barriers to access by people with disabilities. It also included a thorough review of communication accessibility, such as the availability of visual pagers and alarms, and Braille and large print materials, at the Airport and in all other public facilities and programs.
The resulting self-evaluation report was accompanied by easy to use spreadsheet documents for each Port division that identified policy, procedural and communication barriers, and listed recommended steps that could be taken to remove them. Staff had simply to indicate the commencement and completion dates of each barrier removal step, and briefly list the evidence of completion.
Because the Bruckner Consultants LLC approach involved active partnership with and education of managers and staff at each step as the process went along, and because members of the public with disabilities were actively involved at each stage, this complex process became understandable and relevant to all participants.
"You were one of the best aspects to our ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan Update. We have taken your recommendations to heart and are working on implementing them."
Former ADA Coordinator
Port of San Diego
The Executive Directors of the seven independent living centers making up the Association of Centers for Independent Living in Washington State (ACIL-WA) had a variety of goals for their September 2007 three-day conference. They wanted their staff and board members to be trained in the basics of independent living history and philosophy, and disability rights laws. They needed a forum to share information and learn new approaches for dealing with the difficult problems their consumers face. As founding members of a new association, they also needed to develop common goals and form a shared action agenda to implement on a statewide level.
Bruckner Consultants LLC provided two days of training for the staff, volunteers and board members of the ACIL-WA centers. The first day focused on disability rights history and laws, and independent living philosophy. During the second day, we facilitated discussions about how the participants could use what they had learned in their work with consumers who have especially difficult problems. We also shared insights gained from our own practice, and helped participants to find answers to the questions they raised.
On the third day, the Executive Directors met with us for a strategic planning session in which shared goals were prioritized and a statewide action plan for the Association was developed. The feedback from participants in all three days of the conference was overwhelmingly positive; ACIL-WA Executive Directors reported that the planning session provided direction for their next steps.
"I thoroughly enjoyed the training and felt I learned so much.† My staff gave me very positive feedback.† I also thought that your facilitation with the E.D.ís was very timely and helpful....We are more energized now and have some direction for our next steps. Thank you very much!"
Center for Independence
Prior to reopening in 2010, the Oakland Museum of California requested customer service training for patrons with all types of disabilities from Bruckner Consultants LLC.
We developed extensive materials for a general training for all museum staff and volunteers, and a specialized session for docents and security staff. Our materials included a disability etiquette quiz, several interactive activities, guidelines for leading tours, and a comprehensive disability specific customer service handbook.
We delivered the two training sessions to large audiences, and kept them highly interactive. The sessions were very enthusiastically received and led to multiple requests for further museum training from Bruckner Consultants.
"The sessions our staff attended were fantastic. Bill and Vicki really helped us understand what it means to think like a visitor with disabilities. I strongly recommend them to any institution looking to better their visitor experience. They worked with both floor staff and office staff to create a complete approach, which is the key to any real reshaping effort."
Visitor Services Coordinator
Oakland Museum of California