Indiana University - Bloomington 

Access Today 
Volume 21, Issue 8
October-November 2013

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 Upcoming Events

NCA Training Course:
Access to Parks & Outdoor Recreation Areas
Hot Springs, Arkansas
March 25-28, 2014
Webinar Archives

Program Access in Parks, Recreation and Tourism
Playground surfaced with outdoor carpet 

NCA Releases Findings for Longitudinal Study of Play Surfaces

Webinar Scheduled for November 7

The National Center on Accessibility has published findings for its longitudinal study of play surfaces.  The results reveal the importance of proper installation and regular maintenance. The project, which was conducted with funding from the Access Board, assessed the performance of different surfacing materials at 35 new playgrounds over a 3-5 year period. Surface materials tested include poured-in-place rubber, engineered wood fiber, rubber tiles, and hybrid surface systems. "The findings from this project, one of the most comprehensive studies of playgrounds surfacing to date, clearly demonstrate that proper installation and maintenance are critical for accessibility," states Jennifer Skulski, CPSI, the study's principal investigator.  The full report is available through the NCA web site.


The study findings will be the featured topic for the November 7 Accessibility Online webinar.  Advanced registration is required for the free session.  The session will also be archived for playback on demand. 

Webinars Offer Continuing Education
Popular Webinars Rescheduled After Government Shutdown 
Distance learning through webinars continues to be a great way to stay informed on standards, research and emerging trends when budgets are tight on training dollars.  The Access Board and the ADA National Network offer a variety of webinar topics monthly.  Of special note to NCA constituents are two webinars that have been rescheduled for next week due to the federal government shutdown:


Accessible Playground Surfaces

November 7

The Access Board and the National Center on Accessibility recently completed a longitudinal study on playground surfaces. The purpose of the study was to examine how various surfaces performed over time in terms of accessibility and safety. Details on engineered wood fiber, poured in place rubber, rubber tiles, and other hybrid surface systems performed during the study will be addressed in this session.


FINAL RULE Accessibility Standards for Trails, Picnic and Camping Facilities, and Beach Access Routes

November 8

Presenters will review the scoping and technical requirements of the new guidelines and explain their implementation as standards under the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA), including effective dates.


View the full schedule for Accessibility Online and the ADA National Network Online Learning.

NCA Training Set for March

Access to Parks & Outdoor Recreation Scheduled for Hot Springs

Mark your calendars for March 25-28.  The NCA instructors are headed to Hot Springs National Park to conduct our popular training on access to the outdoors.


The ADA-ABA standards for recreation areas have been adopted and now the standards for outdoor developed areas have been finalized. This 3 -day training course will provide an overview of the accessibility standards while emphasizing a universal design approach for new construction and alterations to existing facilities. A central learning theme concentrates on the best practices in design and construction to accommodate people with disabilities. This course is ideal for planners, designers, facility managers and accessibility coordinators. Session topics will discuss how design and construction affects people with disabilities and how people with disabilities function in these park facilities, the ADA/ABA accessibility standards, boating and fishing facilities, picnic areas, trails, campgrounds, and beaches. Field exercises will be conducted outdoors at Hot Springs National Park. Participants will need to provide their own transportation. Upon completion of the course, learners will be able to: apply the accessibility standards to new construction and altered recreation facilities; direct project supervision to ensure compliance with the accessibility standards; and apply universal design concepts to benefit the widest spectrum of park users.  Registration information >

NY Times: Welcoming Art Lovers with Disabilities

Sunday Section Features Leading Museum Programs

The Sunday issue of the New York Times article Welcoming Art Lovers with Disabilities featured the innovative programs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution.  Long recognized for their trend setting programming, the feature article describes how the two organizations are trying to introduce more patrons with disabilities to the arts.  Read more >

Disney Changes Access Pass Policy

Theme Park Responds to NBC Investigative Report

Last May, NBC's Jeff Rosen presented an investigative report on the misuse of disability access passes at the Disney theme parks.  As a result, Disney Parks have modified the current Guest Assistance Card program, which provides access to attractions for guests with disabilities, so it can continue to serve the guests who truly need it. The new program is designed to provide the special experience guests have come to expect from Disney. It will also help control abuse that was, unfortunately, widespread and growing at an alarming rate.  View the NBC Report >

Book cover: universal design tips. Lessons learned from two UD homes.New Book Highlights Universal Design Tips
Lessons Learned in Universal Design Home Building  

Universal design experts John Salmen and Ron Knecht have a new book out highlighting their personal experiences while building homes.  Universal Design Tips: Lessons learned from Two UD Homes showcases two Universally Designed homes for aging in place, and includes floor plans, numerous color photographs and aging in place design tips selected to guide baby boomers through the process of designing, remodeling or building a home that can support their needs and lifestyle for years to come.  The tips can easily translate to public recreation facilities and employee housing.

NCA Product Files:
National Captioning Institute

Use Off-Season to Improve Program Access

logo for National Captioning Institute

The off-season winter months are always a good time to plan for accessibility improvements.  Some projects might include installing new accessible table tops on picnic tables; others might involve having a visitor orientation film captioned. 

The nonprofit National Captioning Institute (NCI) provides the highest quality captioning, subtitling and language translation services for television, government agencies, DVDs, Webcasts, and audio-visual presentations used in parks and recreation facilities. NCI provides fast flexible service and technical support at competitive prices.  For more information on the National Captioning Institute and other products, visit the NCA Product Directory >


NCA does not sell, promote, or endorse this product or any product, service, or vendor listed in the Products Directory. Nor does NCA assume any responsibility or liability related to the accessibility, usability, or application of the products, services, and vendors listed. Consumers are encouraged to do comparison shopping before making any purchase. Read ADA Approved and Other Accessible Product Myths Choosing Products to Improve Access at Your Parks & Facilities.

The National Center on Accessibility is a center of Indiana University's Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies within the School of Public Health.  Since 1992, NCA 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 Americans with Disabilities Act, Rehabilitation Act and other disability legislation.  Through research, technical assistance and training, NCA builds a continuum of comprehensive services for park and recreation practitioners, focusing on universal design and practical solutions that create inclusive recreation opportunities for people of all abilities.  NCA is funded in part by the National Park Service.


National Center on Accessibility | 501 North Morton Street, Suite 109, Bloomington, IN 47404-3732 | Voice: (812) 856-4422 | TTY: (812) 856-4421 | Fax: (812) 856-4480 | Copyright 2012 The Trustees of Indiana University