Best Practices

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Opportunity Knocking: Public Input Can Affect Revision to ADA Design Standards

by Jennifer K. Skulski, National Center on Accessibility

Project GAIN: A Model for Best Practices in Inclusive Recreation Programs

True inclusion occurs when individuals with and without disabilities are valued for their individuality and are active participants in the social fabric of their communities. Recreation activities are a vehicle through which true inclusion can be achieved due to the tendency of such activities to lead to other social ventures. Research by Murray (2002) involving individuals with disabilities, found that “The thread linking leisure to all aspects of their lives was that of relationship—opportunities for fun being dependent on having friends. In this way, the research participants described inclusive leisure as a process through which we all belong, whatever setting we happen to be in” (p.42). Since golf is one activity that is social in nature, it would therefore seem appropriate for reaching true inclusion.

You're Here...Now What? Making Self-Advocacy Work For You in Recreation Settings

By C. Amber Havens

What's worse? Planning a great outing with your family and friends at the local bowling alley only to find out that you can't get your wheelchair to the lanes or educating the owner of the local bowling alley about your disability and the accommodations you are entitled to by law, as a person who has the right to bowl? While finding out that a recreational hotspot is not accessible and doing nothing about it is a daily event for some people - others are taking the matter into their own hands to become their own advocate, to fight for what is legally theirs and to educate a public that often turns its eyes away from the civil rights movement of the disability community.

What to Know Before You Go: The Big Questions to Ask Before Arriving at Your "Accessible" Recreation Destination

Every day millions of people participate in recreational activities. Recreation activities offer avenues for people with disabilities to improve their health, their relationships, and their enjoyment of life. In fact, recreational pursuits centered on physical activity and social engagement can help to prevent secondary health problems such as obesity and depression. Physical activity during recreation promotes weight-loss, strength, flexibility, motor skills and self-confidence. Socializing during recreation enables people to create new relational bonds and strengthen old ones, leaving the individual with an enhanced self-image and expanded social skills.

Funding Accessibility Projects: In Search of the Money Tree

by Amy Shrake, National Center on Accessibility

In these times when resources are stretched, budgets are tight and agencies struggle with a laundry list of safety, accessibility, and maintenance projects, identifying funding for the projects can be one of the greatest challenges. Finding external funds can be a necessary component to many accessibility projects. Where internal funding may allow for the project to be completed at a minimum, external funds may bolster the project to provide optimal access for the widest spectrum of users through creative and innovative design. External funding may also allow for more projects to be completed in a more timely manner than waiting for each annual allocation where only the top priorities are scheduled. Securing funding sources can be a tedious task; however there are helpful resources that offer solutions to sometimes difficult to fund accessibility projects.

Planning for Inclusion: Implementing an Accessibility Management Program in a Parks and Recreation Business Model

by Jennifer K. Skulski 
 
Introduction
 
Headlines—Any Town U.S.A. Department of Environmental Conservation settles in access for the disabled lawsuit (July 10, 2001). Department of Parks and Recreation, agrees to purchase golf mobility devices to allow golfers with disabilities to play its courses (December 3, 2002). Justice Department signs agreement with nine communities to ensure civic access for people with disabilities (February 27, 2004). Disabled to get more park access: State settles landmark suit (July 13, 2005). Associate Director provides testimony to U.S. House subcommittee on disability access to national parks (May 11, 2006).  GGNRA and plaintiffs reach a stay in litigation concerning accessibility (December 17, 2008).
 

Best Practices of Accessibility in Parks and Recreation: A Delphi Survey of National Experts in Accessibility

Findings from a new NCA research study.  The investigation is a query of experts in our field and a concensus on what they believe are the best practices for accessibility in parks and recreation.  The Executive Summary follows below.  A complimentary free copy of the Final Report (PDF) is available online through the Indiana University Scholar Works Repository.