Access Today, Fall 2004
(PDF version -
Inside this issue:
NCA Makes Big Move to Indiana
University Research Park
In July, the National Center on Accessibility relocated the Center's offices to the Indiana University Research Park. NCA's move comes at the suggestion of Dean David Gallahue, Dean of the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation and Dr. Lynn Jamieson, Chair of the Department of Recreation and Park Administration, who have both been instrumental in bringing NCA increased visibility on campus. The Dean's office also provided financial support to assist with moving expenses. The IU Research Park is located in downtown Bloomington, adjacent to the City Hall and IU's Big Ten campus. The IU Research Park now occupies the space which was once home to the Showers Brothers Company, one of the largest furniture factories and employers in Indiana dating back to the late 1800s. The sawtooth roof building, constructed in 1910, has been noted for its architecture reminiscent of the Industrial Revolution. It was renovated in 1996 as a joint venture between Indiana University, the City of Bloomington, and private businesses. Indiana University's Advanced Research and Technology Institute (ARTI) became the major IU tenant when the building reopened in 1996. The venture focuses on partnerships between IU researchers and industry. Earlier this spring, the IU Research Park was rededicated as a business incubator concentrated on the life sciences and information technology. Neighbors to NCA in the IU Research Park include Inventure, a partnership between IU, the Indiana Small Business Development Center, the City of Bloomington, the Bloomington Economic Development Corp. and the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce; the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation Office of Development and Communications; the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands; the President's Challenge Physical Activity and Fitness Awards Program; and the Updyke Center on Physical Activity. The move has allowed NCA to double its office space and make room for additional staff, graduate assistants and new projects.
|The new home of the NCA, IU Research Park.
"The move to the Indiana University Research Park is very significant for NCA. It will allow us to work
more closely with other units like the Eppley Institute, HPER Development and Communications Office, the Updyke Center,
and all units of the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at Indiana University. It gives us the
flexibility to grow in order to continue to meet the needs of park and recreation professionals." -Gary Robb, NCA Executive Director
NCA Playground Surface Study
The provision of public play spaces for children can be a costly venture
for public entities. Playground surfaces range in price from $1-20
per sq ft. for the surface material alone. During planning, construction,
renovation and maintenance phases, playground owners are often challenged
about which playground surfaces to install. What surfaces are safe
for all children? What surfaces are accessible to children with disabilities
or their caregivers with disabilities? And out of those, what surfaces
are cost effective enough to weather several seasons of use?
|Ken, Kutska, Director of the Wheaton (IL) Park District, test the accessibility of a
playground surface with a Rotational Penetrometer as part of the NCA Playground Surface Study.
This summer, the National Center on Accessibility initiated a national research
study to address these questions. This research study is designed to test a variety of playground
surfaces, their ability to meet accessibility and safety requirements and their cost effectiveness
upon initial installation and ongoing maintenance over a 3-5 year period. In addition, this study
will compare the seasonal maintenance costs to continuously meet accessibility and safety requirements.
A national advisory committee has been formed to review the protocol for this study.
Advisory committee members represent the National Playground Safety Institute, the U.S.
Access Board, Beneficial Designs, the Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association,
Bloomington (IN) Parks and Recreation Department, and the American Society for Testing
Currently public playground owners within the Midwest are being sought to participate
in the pilot study which will continue through 2005. The study will expand to sites
nationally in 2005-2006. Updates on the study will be available through the NCA web
site. NCA recently received a $5,000 grant from the Leisure Research Institute,
Department of Recreation and Park Administration at Indiana University to support
the pilot study.
NCA to Initiate Long-Term Research on Trail Surfaces
In addition to research on playground surfaces, the National Center on Accessibility
will begin a longitudinal study on the accessibility of certain trail surfaces.
Over the summer, NCA staff has been working with PEL Consulting to develop the research
protocol for the study. Test sites throughout the United States will be identified this
winter, while the research on specific trail locations is tentatively scheduled to begin
As with the playground surface study, updates on this NCA research project will also be
available through www.naconline.org
Status of Rule Making
Access Board Issues New ADA/ABA Guidelines
|A diagram showing the new guidelines that deals with reach ranges.
On July 23, 2004, the U.S. Access Board issued new accessibility guidelines
under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Architectural Barriers Act.
The new guidelines are a culmination of more than 10 years of work by the
Access Board to harmonize the current Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility
Guidelines (ADAAG) and the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) with other
model building codes.
Noticeable changes to the new accessibility guidelines include revised scoping
sections making clarifications for those covered under Title II (state and local
government) and Title III (private businesses). Clarified scoping is also provided
for facilities designed, built, altered or leased with federal funds under the ABA.
A revised format uses a new numbering system more consistent with other model code
documents and includes text to describe all figures. The previous appendix has been
eliminated and replaced with advisory notes in closer placement to the actual
technical provision. Other notable changes include:
Recreation Facilities: the previously released rules covering play areas
and recreation facilities have been combined and are now included in the new Chapter 10.
Reach Range: the maximum side reach range is reduced from 54 to 48 inches,
the height specified for forward reaches.
Accessible Routes: the provisions are included in one section, which also
clarify the requirements for recessed doors, ramps (edge protection), and curb ramps
Detectable Warnings: the requirement for detectable warnings at curb ramps
or hazardous vehicular areas has been removed since the Access Board is currently addressing
the issue under the Public Rights of Way rulemaking.
Van Accessible Parking: the ratio for van accessible parking has been revised
from 1 in 8 spaces to 1 in 6 accessible parking spaces required to be van accessible.
Absolute dimensions such as those for the centerline of the toilet, previously 18 inches,
have been replaced with a range of 16-18 inches to allow for construction tolerances.
In referencing the new accessibility guidelines, designers, accessibility specialists and consumers
who use the guidelines on a regular basis are encouraged to read the preamble section for rationale
as to why certain revisions were made. The preamble also gives a background to many of the updates
included in this new rule. (However, note the preamble alone is 116 pages printed from the web.
And the PDF version of the new guidelines prints at 304 pages.)
Before the new accessibility guidelines can become fully enforceable, they must be adopted by their
corresponding federal enforcement agencies. For the section applying to facilities covered by Title
II and Title III of the ADA, the new rule must be adopted by the U.S. Department of Justice and the
U.S. Department of Transportation. For the section applying to facilities built, altered or leased
with federal funds, the rule must be adopted by the General Services Administration (GSA), U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Defense (DOD), and the U.S.
Postal Service (USPS). The new guidelines are available on the Access Board web site in HTML
What Ever Happened to the Outdoor Guidelines
In 1999, the Regulatory Negotiation Committee on Outdoor Developed Areas, convened by the U.S.
Access Board, issued a final report and recommendations for accessibility guidelines that
would apply to trails, campgrounds, picnic areas, scenic viewing areas and beaches. The
recommendations were a result of more than two years of work by volunteer committee members
representing land management agencies and disability organizations.
The regulatory negotiation process for outdoor developed areas was similar to the rulemaking
process used to issue accessibility guidelines for play areas. The Access Board developed a
regulatory negotiating committee on play areas in 1996. Within 18 months, the committee had
issued its final recommendations. By 1998, the Access Board issued a notice of proposed rulemaking
for play areas to allow for public comment. And the final guidelines for play areas were issued
in October 2000.
However, the process for creating accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas seems
to have stalled as it has been five years since the regulatory negotiation committee's
recommendations were submitted to the Access Board. Unofficial responses to inquiries
on the rulemaking status indicate that the proposed guidelines were held up in the regulatory
assessment and review by the Office of Management and Budget. Regulatory assessment is required
for this type of rulemaking to provide an idea as to how much the rule will cost the
field/industry to implement.
Some new indications from the Access Board staff suggest the rulemaking process may pick
up in 2005 with a notice of proposed rulemaking based on the Regulatory Negotiation
Committee's final report, but it would only apply to federal agencies under the
Architectural Barriers Act at this point. In the meantime, park and recreation
professionals are advised to reference the Regulatory Negotiation Committee's final
report from 1999 when designing or altering outdoor areas as the final report still
provides the most current and best available information for creating accessible
outdoor developed areas.
NCA Joins Work on ASTM 1951 Revision Committee
The National Center on Accessibility has joined the U.S. Access Board on the American
Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Committee on Playground Surfaces. The volunteer
committee is typically made up of playground surface manufacturers. NCA and the Access
Board are the first to participate on the committee with specific interests in accessibility
and inclusion of people with disabilities. Some controversy has arisen over the last
several months when several loose fill playground surfaces passed the ASTM requirements
for accessible surfaces in laboratory testing. Thus, ASTM's F1951 Standard Specification
for Determination of Accessibility of Surface Systems Under and Around Playground Equipment
is currently under review. NCA and Access Board Staff are participating on the revision
committee which has been charged with developing a field test to determine the accessibility
of playground surfaces actually installed at the playground site rather than only those
surfaces set up in a controlled laboratory setting. Discussions to this point indicate
the possible adoption of the rotational penetrometer, developed by Beneficial Designs,
as a device to use in the field to test for accessible playground surfaces. The committee
is expected to make final recommendations by next Spring. A vote of ASTM members would be
required to adopt the proposed standard.
National Alliance for Accessible Golf Receives Funding from Cooper Standard Automotive
|Participants receive instruction on the driving range before attending the Project
GAIN reception at the Brandywine Country Club in Toledo, Ohio. The reception was hosted by the
Ability Center of Toledo in July.
The National Alliance for Accessible Golf recently received funding from Cooper Standard Automotive
to hire a fundraiser for the organization. Terry Grimm has assumed that role and is actively engaged
in raising funds for projects and operations. The Board of Directors of the Alliance recently met
to refine its strategic plan and is finalizing specific initiatives for the next 18 months.
Project GAIN, Golf: Accessible and Inclusive Networks is operating in five communities across
the country. Three of the programs have received local and regional awards. Project GAIN is a
research and demonstration project and the first year results are extremely encouraging about
the positive impact of this program on people with disabilities, their families and the
community. The Alliance is also in the midst of studying Single Rider Golf cars and their
role in making the game of golf more accessible. A task force is conducting a survey of golf
course owners and operators who are known to have single rider golf cars at their facility to
determine usage as well as issues related to having single rider cars in the fleet. The results
of this survey will be used to conduct further research and education.
IU Graduate Student Join NCA Staff this Fall
|From left: Elizabeth Hall and Amber Havens
Amber Havens and Elizabeth Hall join the NCA staff this fall as part of their graduate
assistantships at Indiana University in the Department of Recreation and Park Administration.
Amber is a doctoral student specializing in leisure behavior. She received her undergraduate
degree in therapeutic recreation from Arkansas Tech University and her graduate degree from
Indiana University. Amber will be working on projects for NCA's partnership with the National
Center on Physical Activity and Disability and the playground surface study.
Elizabeth is a first year graduate student at Indiana University where she is specializing
in therapeutic recreation. Elizabeth also received her undergraduate degree from IU. She
is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and has spent the last year working as a
rehabilitation specialist at the Logansport (IN) State Hospital. Elizabeth will be assisting
NCA staff on upcoming training and educational programs.
Trail Surface Stabilized by T-NAPS
The following review is informational only and is not an endorsement of the product by the
National Center on Accessibility.
|A trail along a beach that is stabilized by T-NAPS
T-NAPS (Total Natural Access Pavement Solutions) is a new soil stabilization product distributed
by the George L. Throop Company out of Pasadena, California. T-NAPS, an oil emulsion made from
pine trees, was originally developed to reduce erosion and stabilize the soil on logging roads
in the southern U.S. The emulsion acts as an aggregate binder. While it can be applied to many
different surfaces, each soil should first be "qualified" to ensure its compatibility.
To have a soil qualified, a sample must be sent to the company and tested for aggregate
gradation requirements. A sieve analysis measures the size of aggregate particles and can
also be used to determine the compatibility of T-NAPS and a specific surface.
The distributor compares T-NAPS to asphalt inasmuch as it has the same uses and requires the same
base preparation as asphalt when used for roads and parking lots. It can also be mixed with a
local aggregate and put through a paving machine similar to asphalt. According to the distributor,
T-NAPS does not change the color of the base material and can be used on trails and other areas
where large equipment is prohibited. After the soil is "qualified" as mentioned above, the ground
can be tilled and T-NAPS applied using a hand sprayer. The area must then be compacted.
Application by hand will also require asphalt rakes and a plate compactor. T-NAPS must avoid
water until its curing stage is complete, which can take up to seven days depending on the
thickness and depth of application. Additionally, the installer must be certified in T-NAPS
installation by the George L. Throop Company.
Cam Lockwood, Manager/CEO of Trails Unlimited, an internal USDA Forest Service Enterprise,
is currently conducting a three-year research project on 32 different surfaces, including T-NAPS.
While it is still too early for research results regarding the maintenance requirements and
longevity of the product, Mr. Lockwood finds T-NAPS to "smell better, go down easier, and have
a higher finish than many of its competitors."
For more information on T-NAPS, contact: George L. Throop Company, 444 North Fair Oaks Ave,
PO Box 92405, Pasadena, CA 91109-2405. (800) 796-0285. www.t-naps.com For updates on the USDA
Forest Service surface research, contact: Trails Unlimited, 105 A Grand Avenue, Monrovia, CA 91016.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.trailsunlimited.com
Access Today is a free publication distributed by NCA with
the purpose of updating and informing people in the recreation field
of current developments in the area of accessibility. Access Today
is available in alternative formats, back issues are also posted
on the NCA web site.