In your opinion, what percent of new outdoor benches should have back supports and at least one armrest?

New E-Course: Introduction to Universal Design

The National Center on Accessibility has developed a one-hour e-course as an introduction to the principles of Universal Design for park and recreation practitioners. The free course is offered through the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands online learning site:

Position Opening: Accessibility Specialist / Research Associate

The National Center on Accessibility, Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies in the School of HPER, is seeking an Accessibility Specialist. The individual selected will be part of a professional team that conducts accessibility research, provides technical assistance and conducts training on accessibility and people with disabilities in parks, recreation and tourism venues. The individual selected will be responsible for development of NCA’s accessibility plan review program (architectural/landscape) and in working with other staff in the development of NCA’s emerging Global Information Systems programs and geo data bases. Qualifications: Completed master's degree in landscape architecture, recreation or natural resources related field, and at least one year experience in community level accessibility work. Experience in working with people who have disabilities is highly desirable.

Accessible Wilderness Camping Made Possible – Scout’s Honor!

by Michelle Cook

When the location of travel is located "off the beaten path" access becomes challenging for people with disabilities. This is the task that Andrew Trontis chose to undertake: to build a barrier-free wilderness campsite developed in the rugged backwoods area of the Teertertown Nature Preserve, a Hunterdon County Park, in Lebanon Township, NJ.

Wire Mesh Railing Treatment Increases Visibility at Fanning Springs State Park

Designers planning boardwalks and viewing platforms are often challenged with creating accessible spaces and balancing the need for safety. Planners for the Florida State Parks decided to meet the challenge head on in Fanning Springs State Park. Planners used a wire mesh railing treatment to increase visibility while maintaining safety for park visitors.

Fanning Springs State Park is located on Florida's west coast on the famous Suwannee River, halfway between Tallahassee and Tampa. The park offers nature trails, swimming, boating and other various outdoor activities. Fanning Spring is one of Florida's 27 first magnitude springs. The wire mesh railing is installed on an 8 ½' x 11' boardwalk that extends from a swimming area to a gazebo overlooking the river.

New Lift on Trolley Gives Visitors Opportunity to See Parks and Gardens

Throughout the summer, trolley riders can take an interpretive tour as it meanders through the Sinnissippi Gardens and along the Rock River in Rockford, Illinois. The Rockford Park District, which operates Trolley Car 36 and the tour through the gardens, has been exploring options and has come up with a solution for making the trolley accessible.

The trolley excursion was first identified with an architectural barrier in the District's transition plan back in 1992. Many discussions amongst staff over the years have centered on creative solutions for making the trolley accessible. At one point, discussion focused on adding boarding ramps at the trolley station and at stops along the railway. However, railroad regulations restricted the placement of such boarding ramps in too close a proximity to the railroad tracks. So discussion turned to modifying the historic trolley itself.