Best Practices

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Exhibit Design Relating to Low Vision and Blindness Summary Report

Download PDF

January 2011

Introduction

Historically, museums have displayed their collections for the visiting public primarily through visual means. Most often the objects are located behind glass or other barriers; and if not, clearly the message is to “look and not touch”. While audio tours have been a recent addition to the museum scene, the absence of descriptive information about the objects or exhibits themselves have proved inaccessible to for persons with visual impairments and do not provide an equivalent experience that is available to the sighted public.

Awaiting Outdoor Accessibility Standards: Trail Building at Shaver’s Creek

by Donica Conseen and Nikki Montembeault

 

In July 2007, the United States Access Board issued the Notice of Proposed Rule Making Guidelines for Federal Outdoor Developed Areas, which in 2009 then became the Draft Final Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas and were made available for comment until December 2009. While these guidelines have not yet reached their final status they are recommended as best practices, and are designed to encourage entities to address accessibility concerns within the realm of the outdoors. The specific outdoor areas that are covered by the Draft Final Outdoor guidelines include: camping facilities, picnic facilities, viewing areas, outdoor recreation access routes, trailheads, trails, and beach access routes. As it pertains to this article, the guidelines provided the parameters for the design and construction of the Shaver’s Creek trail. 

 

 

Students on trail.

School students utilizing the new accessible trail at Shaver's Creek.

When Brian Sedgwick, Building Services Coordinator for Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, first heard the National Center on Accessibility (NCA) was offering training last spring in San Antonio, he was thrilled at the opportunity to attend.   Sedgwick’s anticipation to attend an NCA training course was sparked by an upcoming project to design a new accessible trail at Shaver’s Creek. The outdoor center at The Pennsylvania State University provides a variety of educational and recreational opportunities ranging from tours, trails, discovery rooms, a boardwalk and gardens. The center conducts programing for children and the community within the Stone Valley Recreation Area in central Pennsylvania.  Going into the training Sedgwick was not only hoping to gain insight on how to best approach the project, but also how he could create awareness of the principles of universal design with the project team and among staff.  While attending the training Sedgwick learned that there are many factors which affect the accessibility of a trail. Physical elements such as the firmness and stability of the trail surface were discussed, in addition to programmatic elements such as providing tactile elements along the trail. Tactile elements not only enhance the experience offered but provide a more accessible experience to those visitors with low vision or who are blind, visitors with cognitive impairments, and in the spirit of universal design, children at various levels of development.  When Sedgwick returned home, he started examining the Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center from an accessibility standpoint in addition to Shaver’s Creek Trail.  Recognizing the importance of the principles of universal design, he began to educate both his co-workers and the students he teaches at Penn State on the principles in hopes that they would be put into practice.

ADA Approved and Other Accessible Product Myths: Choosing Products to Improve Access at Your Parks & Facilities

Choosing products for use in a park or recreation facility can sometimes be challenging and overwhelming with the overload of information from manufacturers and accessibility guidelines to consider.   This monograph introduces the major considerations for purchasing products to improve access for people with disabilities in recreation environments including:

Sandusky Gives New Life to Community Greenhouse

The winter weather outside might be frightful, but the blooms of the newly renovated Sandusky Community Greenhouse are absolutely delightful. The community greenhouse and Sandusky/Erie Community Foundation are beneficiaries of one of the $15 million in grants awarded through the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Access to Recreation initiative.

Four Things You Can Do in 2010 to Improve Access for Visitors with Disabilities

by Jennifer Skulski

“Doing more with less” seems to be the decades old mantra for many park and recreation agencies. These lean economic times aren’t any different. Simply, the frequency by which the old saying is used has increased and practitioners are pushed once again to find creative new approaches to meet bigger challenges. However, even when budgets are tight, recreation providers cannot afford to ignore ADA and Section 504 compliance. Here are four no-cost or low cost things you can do in 2010 to keep your accessibility management program on track and continue planning for improved access for your participants and visitors with disabilities.

People with Disabilities - National Survey of Recreation and the Environment

by
Dr. Bryan P. McCormick,
Dept. of Park and Recreation Administration, Indiana University
Prepared for the National Center on Accessibility 

The National Survey on Recreation and the Environment (NSRE) is the most recent study of outdoor recreation of the US population. The study was conducted by the US Forest Service from January 1994 through April 1995 and included 17,216 Americans over the age of 15. All respondents were asked if they had a disability and over 1,200 people answering the survey identified that they had a disability. This report presents summary information on the characteristics, outdoor activity participation, and attitudes of people with disabilities in the NSRE survey.

A2R Webinar Archives

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation Access to Recreation grant program provided $15 million in funding to 36 recreation projects in four Midwestern states from 2006 to 2009. Projects were selected based on their concepts for embracing universal design, opportunity to facilitate inclusion of people of all abilities and opportunity to serve as an exemplar of universal design to community planners, recreation practitioners and advocates.  Over the summer of 2009, the National Center on Accessibility hosted three free 90-minute sessions.  The webinars presented an overview of the project concepts, the planning process, design decisions, construction issues, and fundraising. This was an excellent opportunity for professionals seeking the latest information on universal design trends specific to parks and recreation. The series was sponsored by the Michigan Recreation and Park Association Foundation.
 
Playgrounds
 
Boating & Fishing
 
Interpretive Trails

A2R Webinar Archive: Boating & Fishing

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation Access to Recreation grant program provided $15 million in funding to 36 recreation projects in four Midwestern states from 2006 to 2009. Projects were selected based on their concepts for embracing universal design, opportunity to facilitate inclusion of people of all abilities and opportunity to serve as an exemplar of universal design to community planners, recreation practitioners and advocates.  Over the summer of 2009, the National Center on Accessibility hosted three free 90-minute sessions.  The webinars presented an overview of the project concepts, the planning process, design decisions, construction issues, and fundraising. This was an excellent opportunity for professionals seeking the latest information on universal design trends specific to parks and recreation.

A2R Webinar Series Transcript: Interpretive Trails

 
ACCESS TO RECREATION WEBINAR SERIES
NATIONAL CENTER ON ACCESSIBILITY
 
THURSDAY, AUGUST 27, 2009
2:00 ‑ 3:40 p.m. Eastern
 
 
CAPTIONING (CART) PROVIDED BY: 
VOICE TO PRINT CAPTIONING
1511 E. Valley Place.
Dyer IN 46311
219‑865‑7837
Www.captions4u.com
Captions4u@comcast.net
 
 
 
* * * * *
This is being provided in a rough‑draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in Order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.
 
* * * * *
 

A2R Webinar Series Transcript: Boating & Fishing

NATIONAL CENTER ON ACCESSIBILITY
ACCESS TO RECREATION WEBINAR SERIES: Boating & Fishing
 
THURSDAY, JULY 30, 2009
2:00 ‑ 3:30 p.m. Eastern
 
CAPTIONING (CART) PROVIDED BY: