Inside this issue:
Access Today, Summer 2000
to Indiana University Campus
New NCA address and phone numbers:
National Center on Accessibility
2805 East 10th St, Suite 190
Bloomington, IN 47408-2698
Voice: (812) 856-4422
TTY: (812) 856-4421
Fax: (812) 856-4480
Technical Assistance: 812-856-4427
National Center on Accessibility
Marks 10th Anniversary of ADA with Release of Research Findings on
Activity of People with Disabilities in Recreation and the Environment
The National Center on Accessibility, a collaborative program of Indiana
University and the National Park Service marks the tenth anniversary
of the Americans with Disabilities Act this summer with the release
of research findings on the activity of people with disabilities
in recreation. Prepared by Dr. Brian McCormick, Department of Recreation
and Park Administration at Indiana University, for the NCA, the
research study, "People with Disabilities in the National Survey
on Recreation and the Environment" illustrates key points in participation
of people with disabilities through the National Survey on Recreation
and the Environment (NSRE). NSRE, conducted by the USDA Forest Service,
is the most recent study of outdoor recreation of the U.S. population.
Significant findings in McCormick's analysis include:
|Campers at Bradford Woods accessing the beach and waterfront.
- Patterns of participation in outdoor recreation were similar across most
activities for people with and without disabilities. Activities
with the highest rates of participation among people without disabilities
also tended to show the highest rates of participation among people
- Overall, people with disabilities participated at rates equal to, or somewhat
lower than people without disabilities.
- In most outdoor recreation activities, people with disabilities in middle
age groups reported less frequent participation than people without
disabilities; however in the youngest and oldest age groups, people
with disabilities participated at rates equal to, or greater than,
people without disabilities.
- In nature study activities, people with disabilities participated at rates
higher than those of people without disabilities.
- Although most people with disabilities reported experiencing few barriers
to outdoor recreation, barriers of health conditions and physical
limitations were experienced by the majority people with disabilities.
- Most people with disabilities did not report needing accommodations or
assistive devices for participation in outdoor recreation. Among
those requiring assistance, the most common assistive devices/accommodations
were mobility aids, a companion/assistant, and architectural modifications.
- Attitudes toward accessibility seem to indicate that people with disabilities
generally felt that no outdoor recreation area should be completely"
inaccessible;" however agree that more primitive areas will be
generally less accessible than less primitive areas.
- In addition, people with disabilities tended to favor preservation of
the environment over accessibility in the National Wilderness
Preservation System; however, there was general agreement that
environmental modifications in NWPS areas should be made accessible
for people with disabilities.
The Executive Summary of "People
with Disabilities in the National Survey on Recreation and the Environment"
is available through the NCA website.
at Bradford Woods
A project was recently completed comparing the effectiveness of several different
surface treatments for trails, that would help make a trail accessible
to people with mobility impairments.
|Bradford Woods trail.
The results are available on the
NCA website or in a small brochure. Information includes procedures
used, results after two years of wear and tear on test plots and
technical data. One copy of this brochure can be ordered at no cost.
Please contact the NCA at 812-856-4422, or email us at email@example.com
Product Review: Fire
The emergence of the Outdoor Developed Areas Report submitted by the Regulatory
Negotiating Committee for Outdoor Developed Areas has brought the
issue of campsite accessibility to the attention of many campground
managers throughout the country. Among the features that will soon
be required to be accessible within a campsite is the site furniture.
The focus of this article is on one of the most common and most
used pieces of site furniture, the fire ring/cooking surface.
The report recommends that a fire ring have a minimum height of 9 inches
above the ground. It also requires that a cooking surface be installed
between 15 inches and 34 inches above the ground. In addition to
the recommendations of the Outdoor Developed Areas Report, there
are several features that can enhance access for people with disabilities:
- The method used to remove the cooking grate from the fire ring so that
the inside of the ring can be accessed is important. Some methods
that use a height adjustment notched system require much more
physical effort than a hinged system such as the one shown in
the photograph above. Some individuals with disabilities may not
have the ability to expend large amounts of physical effort needed
for the notched system.
- The weight of the cooking grate is important. A lighter cooking grate
will allow a wider range of people with disabilities to manipulate
the cooking grate.
- A good heat-exchange system that allows the outside of the fire ring to
remain cooler and prevent possible burns is an excellent feature.
Some individuals with disabilities lack the sensory functions
in their extremities that warn against the threat of being burned.
A double walled chamber such as the one in the photo is a good
Call NCA for more information: 812-856-4427
NCA Offers Satellite Seminar
The National Center on Accessibility, in partnership with the National Park
Service, will host a one-day workshop on "Access to Outdoor Recreation
Environments" via distance education media including a satellite
broadcast, September 27, 2000.
During the last 6 years, the U.S. Access Board has been working with national
stakeholders in recreation to develop accessibility guidelines for
outdoor recreation environments. Representatives of the National
Center on Accessibility and National Park Service have taken an
active role in the development of the proposed accessibility guidelines.
This one-day workshop will address the proposed guidelines for trails,
campgrounds, picnic areas and beaches. Presentations will also provide
an update on the status of rulemaking and highlight "best practices"
applications in outdoor recreation environments.
- National Park Service Commitment to Access for Visitors with Disabilities
- Rulemaking Process and Status for Outdoor Developed Areas
- Access to Wilderness Areas: An Interview with David C. Park, National
- Access to Trails
- Applying Accessibility Provisions to Trail Design
- Trail Construction
- Access to Beaches
- Access to Camping & Picnic Areas
Speakers include: Robert Stanton, Director, NPS; Peggy Greenwell, U.S. Access
Board; Dave Park, NPS; Peter Jensen, Open Spaces Management; Don
Beers, California State Parks; Dr. Ed Hamilton, Virginia Easter
Seal Society; and Ruth Doyle, Santa Fe National Forest.
More Than Just Sharing The
Same Space: Social Acceptance and Leisure Lifestyles of People With
By Mary Ann Devine, Kent State University
People with disabilities have become increasingly more visible
in the mainstream of society. Although increased visibility is due,
in part, to greater physical accessibility (Oliver, 1996), physical
accessibility does not assure social acceptance (Taylor & Bogdan,
1993). A lack of social acceptance can inhibit participation in
community life (Hahn, 1988), in that when people with disabilities
perceive that they have less equal status than their peers without
disabilities they are less likely to be active community members.
A lack of social acceptance has been linked with low attendance
rates and levels of satisfaction in work and education settings
for people with disabilities (Coyner, 1994; McKittrick, 1980). While
it has been speculated that a lack of social acceptance of people
with disabilities in leisure settings may inhibit leisure participation
(Allen & Allen, 1995; Sable, 1995; Germ & Schleien, 1997), there
is limited understanding of the relationship between social acceptance
and the leisure lifestyle of people with disabilities.
A study was conducted in 1997 with support from the NCA, to examine the relationship
between social acceptance and the leisure lifestyle of people with
disabilities. There were 39 individuals with disabilities and 257
individuals without disabilities who participated in the study,
all of whom were registered and participating in inclusive leisure
programs. They were asked to complete three questionnaires to obtain
demographic, leisure lifestyle, and social acceptance data.
Analysis of the data uncovered several relationships between the variables.
First, there was a relationship between the perceptions of people
with disabilities and what their peers without disabilities reported
regarding social acceptance. Specifically, in the inclusive leisure
program people with disabilities perceived that their peers without
disabilities were neutral (neither accepting nor rejecting) toward
them and people without disabilities indicated they felt neutral
toward their peers with disabilities. A neutral level of acceptance
may mean that participants with and without disabilities in inclusive
programs are not getting to know each other. A lack of personal
interaction between people with and without disabilities has been
found to perpetuate stereotypes of people with disabilities and
limit their involvement in community activities. A second relationship
found was between perceived social acceptance and the frequency
(how often they participate in inclusive programs) of leisure participation
of people with disabilities. From this finding, it appears that
perceptions of social acceptance matter, in that they may guide
the decision making process of people with disabilities as to how
frequently they participate in inclusive leisure services. For example,
if people with disabilities perceive they are stigmatized in inclusive
leisure settings they may be less likely to participate on a regular
basis. Finally, a relationship was found between perceived social
acceptance and social satisfaction (i.e., feeling like a member
of the group, talking with fellow participants) of people with disabilities.
In particular, this finding showed the less participants with disabilities
perceived they were socially accepted, the less satisfied they were
with the activity. A lack of satisfaction with leisure participation
may result in a(n) decreased sense of enjoyment, heightened level
of stress, lack of sense of belonging, and increased social isolation.
Creating a welcoming leisure environment for and by both groups is an important
part of inclusive recreation programming. Attention should be given
to designing satisfying experiences (i.e., matching abilities and
challenges) for people with and without disabilities to promote
regular and enjoyable leisure experiences. Leisure environments
are forums where people can have more personal than casual contact.
If people with disabilities don't feel accepted or welcomed, no
amount of physical accessibility will create social acceptance.
Mary Ann Devine is an Assistant Professor at Kent State University. Her practice
and research interest is the inclusion of people with disabilities
in leisure services.
NCA develops white
papers for NCPAD project
The National Center on Accessibility has developed several fact sheets and
white papers over the spring to serve as resources on recreation
and physical activity. The papers are written by professionals with
national expertise in each of the represented fields and will be
available through NCA's collaborative partnership with the National
Center of Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD) at the University
of Illinois at Chicago. Some of the new resources include:
- "Exploring Family Adventure in the Outdoors", authored by Kathy Scholl
of Wilderness Inquiry and University of Minnesota
- "Taking a trip to the Outdoors? What to ask before you go."
- "Playgrounds for ALL Kids!" authored by Cindy Burkhour, inclusive recreation
consultant and member of the U.S. Access Board's Regulatory Negotiation
Committee on Play Areas.
- "Therapeutic Horseback Riding", authored by Jennifer Rekers, Arabian horse
breeder and former therapeutic riding program volunteer
- "Architectural and Program Access to Educational Settings and Field Trips",
authored by consultant Julee Quarve-Peterson
- "Recreation Access Rights, a Look at How the ADA Applies to Recreation
and Some Case Law Studies", authored by John McGovern, Executive
Director of the North Suburban Special Recreation Association
- "Preferred Natural Environments for People with Disabilities", a look
at the research study performed by the University of Michigan
- "A Zoo Visit and the Benefits of Zoos", authored by consultant and former
accessibility coordinator for the Brookfield Zoo, Mark Trieglaff
- "Golf: You can play too!" authored by Gary Robb, Executive Director of
- "Golf Instruction for People with Disabilities", authored by PGA/LPGA
Golf Instructor, Judy Alvarez
- "Big Game Hunting", authored by Cameron Brown, NCA Technical Assistance
- "Senior Olympics and the Eden Alternative" authored by Project LIFE, University
of Missouri Leisure for children with ADHD by Project LIFE, University
Additional paper topics include; access to swimming pools, trail assessments,
canoeing, and kayaking. HTML and PDF formats of the papers are available
on the NCA website at www.nacaonline.org
and on the NCPAD website at www.ncpad.org.
NCA Marks 10th Anniversary
This summer marks the 10th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities
Act. The ADA continues to be the most far-reaching, comprehensive
federal civil rights law protecting people with disabilities from
discrimination in employment, services of state & local government,
public accommodations, telecommunications, and transportation. Over
the last decade, the National Center on Accessibility has played
a critical role in increasing awareness of inclusion of people with
disabilities in parks, recreation and tourism while advancing the
spirit and intent of the ADA.
Since its inception, NCA has trained over 20,000 professionals and answered
over 19,000 requests for technical assistance. In addition, the
NCA has distributed an estimated half million printed resource materials.
NCA research findings have been instrumental in the developmental
of national accessibility guidelines for swimming pools, trails,
beaches, golf, and other recreation environments. Success stories
of accessibility implementation from NCA clientele stretch from
the Pennsylvania State Parks System to the Everglades, Indiana Department
of Natural Resources, and Yosemite National Park.
However, while thousands of individuals with disabilities have benefited
from the law and been able to access employment, programs and services
through the removal of barriers, the law itself is still heavily
scrutinized some 10 years after its passage.
The National Organization on Disability Harris Survey of Americans with Disabilities
finds that only three in ten working-age (18-64) people with disabilities
are employed full or part-time, compared to eight in ten working-age
people without disabilities (32% versus 81%). The presence of a
disability seems to prevent a clear majority of unemployed people
with disabilities from participating in the work force.
This summer Congress is discussing the addition of an amendment to the ADA
that would require 90 days notification to a defendant prior to
a private right of action being filed in federal court. Opponents
argue that opening up the law by adding amendments would significantly
decrease the enforcement authority of the law. In addition, they
argue that in several instances, time is of the essence and 90 days
would slow compliance. If a parent registers their child for a summer
camp program and needs to ensure that a sign language interpreter
will be available so that the child can fully participate and benefit
from the program, then by the time the 90 days has come and gone,
so has summer and the child's opportunity to be fully included in
the program. (Also, note that no other civil rights law protecting
individuals from discrimination on the bases of age, race, religion,
national origin or sex requires 90 days notification.)
In the fall, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case of Garrett vs. the
University of Alabama. DOJ reports "Garrett is a consolidation of
two employment suits against Alabama State agencies. One involves
the alleged discriminatory demotion of an individual with breast
cancer by the University of Alabama, and the other a claim that
the Alabama Department of Youth Services failed to reasonably accommodate
an individual with chronic asthma. States have argued that, because
the ADA's protections go beyond the equal protection rights guaranteed
by the Fourteenth Amendment, Congress lacks authority to subject
them to lawsuits under the ADA." The Supreme Court's decision on
this issue will heavily impact the compliance and enforcement authority
of federal agencies with state governments. Thus far, six states
(Arkansas, Idaho, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, and Tennessee) have signed
on to Hawaii's anti-ADA brief submitted to the Supreme Court in
the Garrett vs. University of Alabama case.
While there are many issues in the coming months that will further define
the depth and breath of the ADA, there is still much to celebrate
on this 10th Anniversary. This certainly is a time of celebration
for people with disabilities, the advocates, and professionals that
work every day to apply the spirit and intent of the ADA by building
communities, parks, and recreation environments (locally, regionally,
nationally, and internationally) that are inclusive of youth, teens,
and adults with disabilities. Take some time today to celebrate
your contributions and successes to the implementation of the ADA.
We look forward to a continued relationship with the vast network
of NCA colleagues while meeting the challenges of the next decade
For more information on the ADA, its implementation, and celebrations, visit
the following web sites:
S. Department of Justice: Special 10th Anniversary Status Report
Is the Disabilities Act Working?
of the ADA
Council on Disability Report: Promises to Keep: A Decade of
Federal Enforcement of the ADA
Organization on Disability - Harris Survey Results
NCA Studying User Preferences in Play and Picnic
The National Center on Accessibility is partnering with two organizations
in conducting accessibility studies on playgrounds and picnic areas.
Working with the Recreation Access Group in Michigan, children with
and without disabilities will be observed in play and interviewed
regarding their experiences on play elements designed for accessibility,
as well as the more traditional elements that may or may not be
accessible. The purpose of the study is to determine user preferences
for play environments, provide field data on usability of "accessible
play equipment", and to determine if play areas designed for greater
accessibility promote social integration among children with and
NCA has also contracted with the University of Minnesota to study usability
and preferences of people with and without disabilities relative
to picnic elements (tables, grills, and fire-rings) that are both
accessible and non-accessible. Social integration factors will also
be considered in this study. Both studies are being completed by
early fall and the results are expected to be published by the end
of the year.
Dear Aunt Ada,
Recently, a problem has been occurring with the accessible spaces in the
parking lot outside of the visitors center at our park. The parking
lot has been designed to accommodate 500 vehicles. This includes
the number of accessible spaces that are required by the Americans
with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). We have
nine accessible spaces, two of which are van accessible. Here is
the problem. We have a very high visitation by elderly people, many
who need these accessible spaces because they are close to the building.
Our staff has discovered that quite often, older people are actually
parking in those extra wide access aisles for the van accessible
spaces. The staff does not want to give them citations because they
know that they really need the close spaces. Aunt Ada, we can really
use your advice.
Your problem is becoming more prevalent than you would think. More people
who are older are engaged more in recreational pursuits, even though
some are experiencing a reduction in some of their physical abilities.
Please let me begin by addressing a misconception regarding your
statement about the "number of accessible spaces that are required"
by ADAAG, which may also help towards reducing your problem. ADAAG
does not "require" exactly nine accessible spaces for a 500 space
parking lot. It does require, "at least" nine spaces. Anyone can
exceed the "minimum" number of spaces and should do so if there
is clearly a need. Remember, that "accessible" spaces have specific
technical provisions to meet the needs of people who use mobility
devices and need space to transfer from their vehicles to their
wheelchair or scooter, including the use of lifts. Many older people
only need close proximity to the facilities. Therefore, only after
providing at least the minimum number of required "accessible" spaces,
adding more spaces that are just "reserved" and are close to the
building could be made available to meet the needs of the growing
older population. About the violations; parking in the access aisles
is wrong and should be enforced. Good luck!
Ada welcomes your questions related to the ADA.
C/O NCA, Indiana University, 2805 East 10th St.,Suite 190
Bloomington IN 47408, or email Aunt ADA at:
Responses are strictly the opinion NCA and are not based on legal decisions.
A Universal Approach to Interpretive Planning, Programs
A course sponsored by the National Center on Accessibility
This course is ideal for interpreters and educators, interpretive planners
and specialists, accessibility coordinators, curators and exhibit
planners or designers from park, recreation, museum, outdoor education
and historic environments. Sessions will provide an understanding
of the needs of people with disabilities and the application of
the principles of Universal Design to interpretive programs and
exhibits to achieve accessibility. Topics to be addressed include
exhibits, audiovisuals, museum and education programs, published
materials and communications, issues unique to parks, recreation
and interpretive environments, and innovative methods to include
the widest spectrum of users. This course will discuss tactile methods
with maps, exhibits, and objects and new technologies involving
sound, visual and computer programs. In addition, exhibit design
methods and techniques to achieve accessibility will be presented.
There will also be an introduction to some existing exhibit and
programmatic guidelines. Various local sites will be used for field
exercises to enhance understanding of classroom instruction. New
Orleans has multiple historic and interpretive sites that are ideal
for this purpose.
Topics to be addressed:
Exhibits, Printed Text & Display Labeling:
Principles and techniques of Maps & Models
Public information about accessible programs (publications, Website)
Interpretation Planning Process
Accessible Audio Visuals
1001 Rue Toulouse
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 586-8000 Toll free 1-800-535-9177
Cost $88.00 per night
Please check our website for continuing updated information on this course.
There is a registration form, or you can call or fax your information:
A Note To Our Readers
In August of 2000, NCA relocated our offices from Bradford Woods (near Martinsville,
IN) to the Indiana University campus in Bloomington. We are excited
about this move, while at the same time somewhat sad about moving
from the beautiful Bradford Woods location. The move is necessary
in order for NCA to grow and provide better services to our constituents.
We will have easy access to the technology and resources that the
University can provide, in order to make our services more effective.
We will continue to use the wonderful resource of Bradford Woods
to conduct product testing and related research, and will also use
the facilities on occasion for our educational programs that are
most conducive to that environment.
We look forward to continuing our service in assisting agencies that desire
to make natural environments and programs usable by the greatest
number and diversity of users possible. We hope that this move will
be seamless to all, but please excuse us if we experience a temporary
delay in responding to your requests for assistance and/or information.
Gary Robb - Executive Director, NCA