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Picture 1

Wheelchair user on top of rock overlooking canyon.

Photo by Loren Worthington

General reminders - remove the obstacles; be yourself

I’d like to help, but what can I do?

  1. The entire preceding document could be summarized in two words: be descriptive.  The information that people with disabilities need is out there and is readily available.

  2. It may not be possible to get everything to be code-perfect now, but, in the meantime, at least remove the obstacles.  It is better to have incremental change than none at all.

  3. Rather than focus solely on mobility impairments, develop information that is useful to people with various forms of disability.

What do I need to know about people with disabilities?

  1. Take a look at the article Interacting with Persons with Disabilities. That article can be summarized in two word: be yourself.

  2. Assume everybody has the same aspirations: to work, to recreate, to get out and do things - to enjoy the natural environment.

  3. The nature of disability may be complex and diverse; but our responsibility is simple and direct - help remove the obstacles.

  4. People who have visual and auditory limitations will still enjoy the natural environment and outdoor recreation. 

  5. Don’t feel uncomfortable with legal aspects about disability.  “People with disabilities” is not a protected class, but, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA], are entitled to access the same programs and opportunities as all other people.

  6. Don’t assume that there are any limitations to what people with disabilities can accomplish.  Just remove the obstacles.

What do you mean by obstacles?

  1. Obstacles are not only physical barriers, but include barriers such as lack of information, or perception about difficulty of use.

  2. Since the majority of people who have a disability are not wheelchair users, what are considered obstacles will vary greatly.

What has been the guiding philosophy of Access Recreation?

  1. To encourage people with disabilities to enjoy the natural environment and not be hindered by a lack of information.

  2. To provide trail users with sufficient information so they can make their own decision about whether a trail is suitable or not. 

  3. To steer away from strict definitions such as “ADA accessible” and to allow the user to determine if a trail may be “usable” for them. 

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