1. National Trail Surfaces Study

    Trails provide opportunities for people to connect with the natural environment in a variety of settings and are places for all individuals, including people with disabilities.  Individuals with disabilities have the same desire to explore nature and physical barriers such as inaccessible surfaces and routes can hamper or even prevent opportunities to participate in the outdoor leisure experience for people with a disability. The purpose of the longitudinal surface study was to evaluate a variety of trail surface materials, and their ability to meet proposed accessibility requirements of firmness and stability from initial installation and maintenance over 51 months.  

  2. A Longitudinal Study of Playground Surfaces to Evaluate Accessibility: Final Report

    In 2008, the National Center on Accessibility (NCA) at Indiana University initiated a longitudinal study of playground surfaces with research funding by the U.S. Access Board.  The purpose of this longitudinal study was to evaluate a variety of playground surfaces, their costs, and their ability to meet accessibility requirements while documenting deficiencies that arise upon initial installation or those that might require maintenance after a 3-5 year period of use.

  3. Research: A Longitudinal Study of Playground Surfaces

    In 2008, the National Center on Accessibility (NCA) at Indiana University initiated a longitudinal study of playground surfaces with research funding by the U.S. Access Board.  The purpose of this longitudinal study was to evaluate a variety of playground surfaces, their costs, and their ability to meet accessibility requirements while documenting deficiencies that arise upon initial installation or those that might require maintenance after a 3-5 year period of use.  The final results of the study were published in October 2013.

  4. A Person First Approach to Recreation

    Many people use leisure services as a means to relax and recover from the stresses of everyday life. The professionals that provide recreation and leisure services need to be able to effectively communicate information and to treat all participants with equal respect.

  5. Accessible Picnic Tables

    Families and friends often venture to outdoor recreation areas with the specific intent to picnic. Accessible picnic elements facilitate the inclusion and socialization of park visitors. The provision of accessible picnic areas should be a consideration for facility operators. Providing accessible picnic elements such as tables can be an easy process especially since accessible picnic tables come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

  6. Terminology and People First Language

    Interacting with an individual who has a disability might be considered awkward and uncomfortable for some people. By being knowledgeable on the appropriate terms and methods of communication, interacting with individuals with disabilities can be pleasant and enjoyable for both parties.

  7. NCA Products Directory

    Criteria for products to be listed in the NCA Products Directory.

  8. Exhibit Design Relating to Low Vision and Blindness Summary Report

    National Center on Accessibility, Indiana University - Bloomington

    The purpose of the project was to convene museum and site exhibit stakeholders, including government and private sector museum staff, Federal and State accessibility specialists, exhibit designers, consumers with vision impairments, and related stakeholders in a workshop to consider issues in exhibit design and operation for people with low vision and blindness. This project was conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Architecture and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) and the National Park Service.  The project involved the commission of four white papers by experts who had conducted research or projects in subjects related to exhibit or interpretive media design for persons with low vision or who are blind. The four issues identified for white papers were in the areas of: Effective Communication: What Visitors with Vision Loss Want Museums and Parks to Know about Effective Communication (Beth Ziebarth, Smithsonian Institution); Tactile Mapping and Orientation: Tactile Mapping for Cultural and Entertainment Venues (Steve Landau, Touch Graphics); Tactile Models with Audio Description: Research on Effective Use of Tactile Exhibits with Touch Activated Audio Description for the Blind and Low Vision Audience (Rebecca Fuller and Bill Watkins, RAF Models); and Current Media Technology: Current Media Technology, Appropriate Application of Technology, Future Research Needs (Larry Goldberg, National Center for Accessible Media).

  9. ADA Approved and Other Accessible Product Myths

    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.

  10. Planning for Inclusion

    National Center on Accessibility, Indiana University-Bloomington

    For any accessibility management program to be successful, the organization must embrace some of the core principles and practices that management theorists have identified and linked to the most effective companies and public agencies of the 20th and 21st centuries: committed business purpose and mission, shared values, involvement in the process, comprehensive planning, continuous evaluation, and flexibility to adapt to an ever changing marketplace.

  11. Funding Accessibility Projects

    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.

  12. Designing for Inclusive Play: Applying the Principles of Universal Design to the Playground

    The public playground is, by far, one of the most important settings for child development. It is one of the few environments where a child has the freedom to run and jump, climb, swing and leap, yell, reign, conjure, create, dream or meditate. In this complicated world that we live in, the playground is a safe and common place for children to come together, to discover the value of play, to learn about each other, to recognize their similarities and differences, to meet physical and social challenges, to leave comfort zones and evolve into the little young people they are meant to be. It is a microcosm for life lessons, from challenge and risk to conflict resolution and cooperation. When we design for these purposes and apply the Principles of Universal Design, we design for inclusive play where every child, regardless of ability or disability, is welcomed and benefits physically, developmentally, emotionally and socially from the environment.

  13. Program Access: Beyond Bricks and Mortar

    National Center on Accessibility, Indiana University-Bloomington

    Generally, there are two types of access: physical access and program access. Physical access, also referred to as architectural access, encompasses access to buildings, structures, and the environment. Program access, or programmatic access, addresses access to goods, services, activities, really any offering of federal, state and local government or business. Program access is somewhat of an abstract concept while physical access is a little more concrete. In this monograph we will discuss program access, key considerations for effective communication, auxiliary aids, services, alternate formats, and apply program access to recreation.

  14. Challenge Programs

    Challenge Programs enable people to take physical and emotional risks with the support and encouragement of their peers. The use of challenge courses can promote growth and independence. Participants feel a sense of achievement in completing an activity they perceived beyond their realm of success. For people with disabilities, the benefits of a challenge course experience can be a unique journey of self-awareness and personal growth-testing new abilities.

  15. Effective Communication in Parks and Recreation

    Effective communication requires a public accommodation to ensure equal access to programs by including various types of auxiliary aids and services. Equal access for participants with visual, hearing or cognitive disabilities is often achieved by offering the same information in various formats in order for everyone to have similar understanding of programs, services or activities. A public accommodation can utilize a variety of auxiliary aids and services such as the provision of a sign language interpreter for a person who is deaf during a museum tour or a large print park map for a visitor who is visually impaired.

  16. NPS Director's Order #42

    National Park Service

    It is the goal of the NPS to ensure that all people, including the estimated 54 million citizens with disabilities, have the highest level of accessibility that is reasonable to our programs, facilities and services in conformance with applicable regulations and standards. Accordingly, the NPS will seek to provide that level in the planning, construction, and renovation of buildings and facilities and in the provision of programs and services to the public and to our employees

  17. National Survey of Recreation and the Environment

    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.

  18. A Longitudinal Trail Research Program on Soil Stabilizers

    The purpose of this project is to compare the effectiveness of surface treatments for creating a trail accessible to people with mobility impairments. Specifically, this study is examining the longitudinal effects of surface treatments on surface firmness and stability, the costs of applying the treatments, and their relative maintenance demands.

  19. Principles of Universal Design

    Center for Universal Design - North Carolina State University

    Universal Design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.  The seven principles of Universal Design were developed by a working group of architects, product designers, engineers and environmental design researchers.  These seven principles may be applied to evaluate existing designs, guide the design process and educate both designers and consumers about the characteristics of more usable products and environments.

  20. Section 504 Regulations

    U.S. Department of Interior

    No qualified handicapped person shall, on the basis of handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity conducted by the agency.