Access Today: March/April 2010

NCA training course participants inspect the tactile 3-dimensional map at the Alamo in San Antonio.Interpreters, Planners & Designers Gather in San Antonio for NCA Training
Professionals from throughout the United States, and as far away as Guam, traveled to San Antonio last week for NCA’s Universal Approach to Interpretive Programs, Planning and Design. NCA instructors were joined by guest instructors Beth Ziebarth, Accessibility Coordinator at the Smithsonian Institution, and Betty Siegel, Accessibility Coordinator at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Participants were able to apply their new knowledge during field visits to the Alamo and the San Antonio Children’s Museum.
Trails Training Set for Bradford Woods
Spring is in the air in Indiana and NCA instructors are hard at work preparing for our 21st Century Trails Symposium at Bradford Woods. Bill Botten, U.S. Access Board, will be making presentations on the new Draft Final Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas. Participants will also have the opportunity to tour Bradford Woods, the 2,400 acre outdoor education center at Indiana University, view its state-of-the-art universally designed outdoor amphitheater, and inspect the soil stabilization products installed at one of NCA’s trail surface study sites. More information >
Access to Recreation Initiative Receives National Recognition
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has received a Critical Impact Award in recognition of its multi-state Access to Recreation initiative. The national award recognizes grantmaking foundations that have demonstrated innovative leadership, bold vision, and significant impact in advancing the common good through effective grantmaking. The National Center on Accessibility served as a technical consultant to the project reviewing planning details for projects in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Read more on the innovative projects >
NCA Seeks New Playgrounds and Trails for Research Studies
NCA has two research studies on surfaces underway and is currently seeking additional sites for participation. NCA is seeking land managers with pedestrian trails in public parks, forests, lands, and other recreation areas to participate in a national study on the accessibility of various types of soil stabilization products. During this phase of the multi-year study, NCA will conduct a comprehensive survey of sites that are currently using “green” soil stabilizer products on a trail surface. Categorized into one of six geographic regions throughout the United States, representatives from each site will provide information on installation, costs, maintenance and wear in relation to the climate, trail function and use. For more information on the NCA Trails Surface Study, contact Nikki Montembeault,
In addition to the trails surface study, NCA is conducting a longitudinal study of playground surfaces. New installations are being sought in the Chicago suburbs and northeast Illinois, Indiana, southern Michigan and central Ohio. New sites must be located within public parks and utilize either poured in place rubber, tiles, engineered wood fiber, shredded rubber or a hybrid system. New installations with shredded rubber are particularly sought for participation. Interested participants should contact Jennifer Skulski,   
NCA to Host Workshop on Exhibit Design Relating to Low Vision and Blindness
In conjunction with the LEAD (Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability) Conference, NCA will host a pre-conference workshop on exhibit design relating to low vision and blindness on August 25 in San Diego. This two-part pre-conference workshop is a comprehensive analysis of exhibition design as it relates to people who are blind or have low vision. Participants will engage in exhibit planning and design process with experts in the field, study examples of exhibits that successfully provide access for people with low vision or who are blind, and contribute to the development of a Best Practices Technical Assistance bulletin on exhibition design. LEAD Conference >