Access Today: June/July 2010

Park and Recreation Professionals Gather to Discuss Accessibility Management 

Hugh Osborne (center), Community Planner for the National Park Service, discusses trail slope issues with training course attendees during the field exercise.More than 35 park and recreation professionals from throughout the United States gathered in Portland, June 22-25, to attend training on Accessibility Management in Parks and Recreation hosted by the National Center on Accessibility. NCA instructors provided an overview of the federal regulations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Training attendees were able to apply new information on the ADA-ABA Accessibility Guidelines, the principles of universal design, proposed guidelines for outdoor developed areas, and program access during a field exercise to the Tualatin Hills Nature Park. The Accessibility Management course continues to be NCA’s most popular training program specifically designed for accessibility coordinators. Look for the course to be scheduled again in Spring 2011. 

NCA Conducts Accessibility Assessments of National Parks in Pacific Northwest

While in the Pacific Northwest this June, NCA conducted comprehensive physical and programmatic accessibility assessments of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site (Vancouver, WA) and Klondike Gold Rush (Seattle, WA). Assessments of the parks are a new project between NCA and the National Park Service Accessibility Management Program where 40 small, non-fee national parks will be assessed over the next two years. NCA staff has developed quite the expertise in park assessments following on the heels of a 12-park pilot assessment project with the National Park Service and other special projects such as assessment of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. During the June trip, staff focused assessment attention on historic Fort Vancouver along the Columbia River which was once the principal supply depot of the Hudson's Bay Trading Company. Further north, staff assessed the Seattle park unit that interprets the story of the stampede to the Yukon gold fields in 1897.

ADA 20th Anniversary
Ode to the Digital Level and Other Tools of the “Accessiologist” Trade

As we close in on the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, there is sure to be much pontification on what has changed and what has stayed the same over the last two decades. One thing is for certain, technology has helped to educate millions of consumers, advocates and recreation practitioners on the ADA regulations. Advancements in technology, software and digital tools have made the life work of the “accessiologist” (one who studies or advocates for the improvement of accessibility for people with disabilities, aka “accessibility coordinator”) much more efficient. Read more >>

On the Surface
Developing a Field Test for Firmness and Stability 

In 2005, a task group within the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) F08.63 Subcommittee on Playground Surfaces began working on the development of a test method to objectively measure firmness and stability of surfaces systems as related to accessible routes on playgrounds. NCA has prepared an FAQ on the need and proposed method for a field test. Read more >>

Book Review
Human Kinetics Publishes New Text on Inclusive Recreation 

Kudos to Human Kinetics on their new publication “Inclusive Recreation: Programs and Services for Diverse Populations.” The edited text has chapters by Tracy Crawford, former President of the National Therapeutic Recreation Society; Dr. Kathleen Scholl, University of Northern Iowa; Amy Rauworth and Sheila-Swann Guerrero, National Center on Physical Activity and Disability: and Indiana University faculty Drs. Alan Ewert, Alison Voight and Shu Cole. The text, designed for undergraduate majors in park and recreation studies, covers broad topics of inclusion of people with disabilities from legislation and marketing, to fitness, aquatics, challenge courses and tourism. The text is not only a great resource for college students upcoming in the field of recreation, it can be a valuable asset for your professional library especially among professionals new to the field of inclusive recreation who may not have a formal education or training in recreation or work with people with disabilities.