All of us should work toward inclusion, because someday each of us will benefit from it.
I fell into the accessibility field when I accepted a temporary position at a disability advocacy center in 2000, and I never looked back. I had a general idea about inclusion; it had been modeled for me by parent advocates I had known and by university students with whom I had worked over the years. What I have learned about inclusion from working at NCA is that it doesn’t need to be an “us-against-them” battle between advocates and the system. Everyone plays a role, and NCA helps that happen. Our staff works not only to increase access to leisure opportunities for people with disabilities but also to assist, support and educate recreation organizations and agencies that are working toward inclusion. We encourage a cooperative approach to making fun accessible for all.
Alice Voigt joined NCA in 2006 as an Accessibility Specialist. Since then, she has conducted accessibility assessments from Denali (Alaska) to Everglades (Florida) National Parks and has become one of the most knowledgeable assessors of recreation facilities in the country. Alice coordinates the NCA park assessment process, provides technical assistance, and serves as an instructor for NCA training courses. In addition, she assists with NCA research and consultation as needed. Alice is fluent on the relationship between program access and the assessment of support facilities, especially with outdoor developed areas. She has completed assessments of municipal park agencies such as the Crystal Lake (Illinois) Park District and the Forest Preserve District of Will County (Illinois), along with National Parks such as the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, Grant-Kohrs Ranch, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Alice has presented on accessibility issues at national conferences, including those hosted by the National Recreation and Park Association and the Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability. On the Indiana University-Bloomington campus, Alice is the co-chairperson of the Disability Roundtable, a collective group of individuals that meet to promote access and inclusion on campus. Alice also serves as a guest lecturer to IU classes on topics such as the ADA standards and employment provisions.
Prior to joining NCA, Alice was the Accessibility Coordinator at the Southwest Center for Independent Living in Springfield, Missouri. There she assisted consumers with advocacy efforts, coordinated a home modification program and conducted assessments throughout an eight county area. Alice also has eight years of experience working in Student Affairs at several colleges and universities. She received her undergraduate degree in Communication Arts from Allegheny College and her graduate degree in Counseling from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.