Indiana University - Bloomington 

Access Today 
Volume 22, Issue 4
August 2014

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 Upcoming Events

Southwest Conference on Disability
October 7-10

Webinar Archives

NCA Playground
Surface Study Findings

Final Rule for Outdoor Developed Areas

Program Access in Parks, Recreation and Tourism
Ray Rainbolt, second from right, describes construction of a new trail to training course participants along the lake.

NCA Instructors Make Trip to Beautiful Upstate New York's Fort Drum 

DOD Personnel Participate in Outdoor Access Training

Instructors from the National Center on Accessibility traveled to upstate New York in July to present training for the Division of Fish and Wildlife at Fort Drum Military Base.  The training request was spearheaded by Ray Rainbolt after he attended NCA's course at Lake Mead in 2010.  As a result, more than 37 personnel from the Department of Defense, and divisions like Equal Employment Opportunities, Fish and Wildlife, and Morale, Welfare and Recreation participated in the 3-day course.  Session topics ranged from the application of the accessibility standards in the built environment to outdoor areas like trails, beaches, fishing and hunting.  


Rich Fabend demonstrates the equipment he has adapted for turkey hunting.

Guest presentations were made by Carole Fraser, Universal Access Program of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation;Michelle Chapin Appleby, Board of Directors for the Northern Regional Center for Independent Living; Debra Baker, Deaf Community Advocate; Jeffrey Hackett, Project Healing Waters; and local outdoorsman, Rich Fabend.  During the outdoor classroom, Rich was able to demonstrate hunting and fishing equipment he has adapted and written about over the years through his personal web site


Often times, people will attend an NCA open registration training course and then work creatively to bring NCA to their agency for a tailored program.  "I have a great appreciation of the persistence of Ray Rainbolt in his efforts to see this training come to fruition.  He began this process four years ago and never gave up. People with disabilities will have greater opportunities in recreation as a result of his efforts," said Ray Bloomer, NCA Director of Education and Technical Assistance.

The hard work Ray Rainbolt and Ray Bloomer put into the coordination of the program was evident by comments from attendees. "This training was EXCELLENT!" said one participant.  "It was one of the best training courses I have taken in my career.  Not only was it very relative and resourceful to my job, but also very insightful and encouraging to do more and more to make things happen like they should."  "This is a wonderfully compiled team [of NCA instructors and guest presenters].  Rarely have I attended a course where all presenters could answer questions so easily and cover the material with such ease," said another participant.  Check out the Like us on Facebook NCA Facebook page for more photos from the training.

NPS Names Accessibility Chief

Jeremy Buzzell Appointed as New Accessibility Branch Chief

Jeremy Buzzell The National Park Service has named disability advocate, Jeremy Buzzell as the Branch Chief for the Accessibility Management Program.  Buzzell began in his new position on August 25.  He joins the National Park Service after working for more than 20 years in disability policy with different federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Library of Congress. 


"I'm excited to combine my passions of advocacy for people with disabilities with my love of the outdoors.  It is the perfect match," says Buzzell when asked what attracted him to the NPS Branch Chief position.


Buzzell began his career as a Presidential Management Fellow and later a Legislative Fellow to Senator Ted Kennedy, with whom he worked on disability policy.  In 2004, he was appointed to the DOE Office for Special Education and Rehabilitation Services where he oversaw implementation of the department's assistive technology program.  He later served as the Branch Manager for Disability for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  There he was responsible for outreach to the disability community, policy development, training, and civil rights complaints regarding accessibility of TSA checkpoints at airports across the United States.  Most recently, Buzzell served as a Program Specialist to the Chief of Support Operations at the Library of Congress.


Buzzell believes his experience with TSA and the Library of Congress will serve him well at the Park Service when it comes to adapting Section 504 and the accessibility standards in the very diverse context of outdoor recreation and preservation.  "We have to figure out how to adapt global goals [of inclusion and accessibility] to a very specific environment and context to meet the needs of a very broad range of the population of people with disabilities.  Managing that level of diversity and trying to apply the universal design principles in very different environments like the geography of the park or the historic nature of the facility is very challenging.  [We need to ask] How do we creatively find solutions?" 


Buzzell holds a bachelor's degree in special education from Boston University and a master's degree in disability studies from Syracuse University.  His love for the outdoors stems from growing up in North Carolina among the Blue Ridge Mountains where he would go hiking, fishing and camping.  Now with two small children of his own, his family enjoys camping in Shenandoah National Park and visiting the nature centers in Montgomery County, Maryland.


"I have been blessed to have the opportunity to work with federal agencies, disability experts and advocates in Washington and across the country.  I hope to bring those really good relationships and a good understanding of the groups to bridge the gap of advocacy and Washington bureaucracy," says Buzzell.

Access Board Issues Tech Guide

New Publication Provides Guidance for Outdoor Developed Areas

Cover for publication on outdoor developed areas published by the Access Board. A new guide on achieving accessible outdoor sites, including trails and camping areas, is now available from the U.S. Access Board (electronic versions only, not print copies). The 100-page document discusses and illustrates provisions of accessibility guidelines the Board issued last fall for outdoor sites developed by the federal government. These guidelines provide detailed specifications for accessible trails, picnic and camping areas, viewing areas, beach access routes and other components of outdoor developed areas when newly built or altered.  


The new guide serves as a companion resource to the guidelines by explaining the intent of various requirements and how they can be met. It discusses provisions for trails and trailheads, outdoor recreation access routes, and beach access routes such as those addressing surface characteristics, width, and running and cross slopes. Outdoor constructed features, including viewing areas, camp sites, tent pads and platforms, picnic tables, grills, fire rings, and toilet and bathing facilities are also covered. In addition, the guide explains exceptions in the guidelines that may apply where compliance is not practicable because of terrain, prevailing construction practices, or other specified conditions.  Read the Access Board guide Outdoor Developed Areas: A Summary of Accessibility Standards for Federal Outdoor Developed Areas >

New Docs Published for Fitness Equipment

ASTM Issues New Fitness Equipment Standard, NCHPAD Publishes Guide for Wheelchair Users

Cover to Discover Accessible Fitness The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD), in partnership with Beneficial Designs, has released a new resource titled, Discover Accessible Fitness: A Wheelchair User's Guide for Using Fitness Equipment. This resource can be used by people with disabilities and fitness professionals to become familiar with key considerations for wheelchair users using fitness equipment. This guide discusses safety, stability, adaptive equipment, accessibility, exercise precautions, and a full overview of the components of fitness including cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility.  This resource was developed as an educational tool in response to two new standards for inclusive fitness equipment approved in August of 2013 by the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM). These standards provide specifications for fitness equipment that is accessible to users of all abilities and will be used to ensure future development and use of fitness equipment that more closely meets the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Read the new guide >

DOJ Initiates Proposed Rules for Movies

Proposed Rules Would Require Closed Captions and Audio Description at Movie Theaters Covered by ADA

On July 23, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to amend the Americans with Disabilities Act title III regulation to provide closed movie captioning and audio description to give persons with hearing and vision disabilities access to movies.  The Department is proposing to provide a consistent nationwide standard for movie theaters to exhibit movies with closed movie captioning and audio description for all showings of movies that are available with closed movie captioning or audio description. Read more >


More News Making Headlines

Kent State Charged with Housing Discrimination Over Service Animal

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has charged Kent State University and four of its employees with housing discrimination for refusing to allow a student with disabilities to keep an emotional support animal in her campus apartment.  The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to refuse to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices when a person with a disability requires such an accommodation, including refusing to grant waivers to "no-pet" policies for persons who use assistance or support animals. Note that the HUD rules for service animals in housing are very different from the more strict definition of service animal under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.  Read more >


September is National Preparedness Month

This year's National Preparedness Month theme is "Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare." Download the Federal Emergency Management Agency's online toolkit  to learn how to plan preparedness events in your community or take part in National PrepareAthon Day on September 30, 2014. Visit to find emergency preparedness resources, including preparedness information for people with disabilities (PDF).


ADA Legacy Project Launches for 25th Celebration

While the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act came and went this July, planning is already underway for the 25th anniversary celebration.  The ADA Legacy Project has launched to raise awareness of the history, contributions, and issues still facing people with disabilities.  The ADA Legacy Project is chaired under the leadership Mark Johnson - Director of Advocacy, Shepherd Center, and a coordinating committee is made up of many well-known national advocates  Events will be planned throughout the year and culminate with a celebration on the National Mall in Washington DC on July 26, 2015.  Read more >

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