Access Today: January/February 2012

DOJ Issues Guidance on Means of Entry/Exit to Swimming Pools

Is a pool lift required at every public pool? Can a pool lift be shared between pools? Can a pool lift be portable?  To address these questions, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a technical assistance document earlier this month Accessible Pools: Means of Entry and Exit. Long awaited, the DOJ guidance offers its interpretation and expectations for pool access at existing facilities covered by Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. DOJ cites the provisional requirement for Title II entities to meet the program access standard and provide swimming programs in the most integrated setting. The enforcement agency also lists factors to determine which pools should be made accessible. DOJ further states in the guidance for Title II entities that sharing accessible equipment between pools is not permitted, unless it would result in undue burdens to provide equipment at each one. For public accommodations covered by Title III, DOJ cites the readily achievable provision and states that the barrier removal obligation is a continuing one, and it is expected that a business will take steps to improve accessibility over time. 

All public pool owners and operators should be familiar with the new DOJ guidance as it is the first and only interpretation provided by the enforcement agency that specifically addresses expectations for existing facilities. Further, it should be noted that some industry articles on the new guidance are printed in error with some misinformation. Thus, it is critical that professionals become familiar with the document rather than simply relying on information from other media sources.


Registration Open for NCA 2012 Training Courses

The National Center on Accessibility will host two open registration training courses in the first half of 2012 plus collaborate on a variety of other regional and national events. Friday, February 10 is the last day to register for the Lake Mead course to qualify for the early discount and get $75 off the registration fee.

Access to Parks and Outdoor Recreation Areas will be held at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, outside of Las Vegas, in April. This 3 ½ -day training course will provide an overview of the new accessibility standards while emphasizing a universal design approach for new construction and alterations to existing facilities.

Accessibility Management in Parks, Recreation and Tourism will be held in Denver in July. This is the most popular NCA open registration course, designed to give accessibility coordinators in parks and recreation a broad perspective and foundation for implementing an accessibility management program. The course has been expanded to 4 ½ days for 2012.


NCA Partners with Network for 2012 National ADA Symposium

We are excited to announce that the National Center on Accessibility has partnered with the Great Plains and Great Lakes ADA Centers to coordinate a recreation track for the 2012 National ADA Symposium. The national conference will be held May 30 – June 1 in Indianapolis. NCA will coordinate nine sessions for the recreation track ranging from interpretive exhibits to playgrounds. “We are really looking forward to this opportunity to be a part of the 2012 ADA Symposium,” says NCA Executive Director, Dr. Sherril York. “NCA is coming up on its 20th anniversary and we see this as a great event to contribute to the professional knowledge base of what is new and emerging in accessibility for parks, recreation and tourism.”


New Readily Achievable Checklists for Recreation Facilities Published

The ADA National Network and Institute for Human Centered Design have recently updated the Checklist for Readily Achievable Barrier Removal. While updating this long-used checklist, new checklists specific to recreation facilities have been added: amusement rides, fishing facilities, golf facilities, miniature golf facilities, recreational boating facilities and swimming pools. There is also a miscellaneous checklist to cover accessible routes for areas of sport activity, team seating, exercise equipment, bowling lanes, steam rooms and shooting facilities. The checklists can be downloaded in MS Word format at 


NCA Staff On the Road and On Facebook

If you are on the road this month, look for NCA staff making presentations at a couple regional and national conferences. NCA Executive Director, Dr. Sherril York, will make the presentation “2010 ADA Standards: How does your camp measure up?” at the National Conference of the American Camp Association, February 20-24 in Atlanta.

Jennifer Skulski will be presenting two sessions “5 Things You Need to Know About the ADA” and “First Year Findings from the NCA Playground Surface Study” at the Great Lakes Park Training Institute, February 28 at Pokagon State Park in Angola, Indiana.

On campus at Indiana University, Ray Bloomer will be a guest lecturer in February on the characteristics and needs of people with disabilities to the undergraduate class, R270 Inclusive Recreation Services. This is a required class of all IU park and recreation majors where NCA staff is often invited to make guest presentations.

Staying at home? Find NCA on Facebook. Yes, the National Center on Accessibility now has its own Facebook page. Find us to engage in the conversation and help caption some of our favorite photos from the field.


ADA National Network Online Learning Opportunities

The ADA National Network has announced some new online learning and webinar opportunities for 2010. Accessible Technology Webinar Series is a free series and will be presented bimonthly. Session topics range from making tactile graphics to mobile applications. The ADA National Network also addresses a variety of topics during their monthly audio conference. The February 21 session, “Planning a Trip: What you need to know about making hotel reservations” is free, but registration is required in advance. The sessions are archived and serve as great resources for ongoing professional development.