Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to "Conducting Effective Accessibility Surveys Part II." At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session, and instructions will follow at that time. If anyone should require audio assistance during the conference, please press star then 0 to reach an operator. I would now like to turn the call over to Robin Jones.
Good afternoon and good morning to everyone depending on where you might be today, and I thank you for joining us for our April session of the ADA audio conference series. This program is brought to you as a program of the ADA National Network, and it is sponsored and hosted by the Great Lakes ADA Center. Our session today is conducting effective accessibility surveys part II. Our focus is on the external environment today. Hopefully, many of you joined us in March for the part I of this particular program, which was focused on the facilities themselves. We are joined today by a host of qualified individuals. Some of them will be individuals you will remember from last month if you were with us, and we also have some new participants, and our moderator, Don Brandon, will give you all introduction to our speakers in a minute here. Let me just go over some of the ground rules, and some of the information you need to participate in today''s program. First and foremost, you should have a couple of handouts. One of them is the names of our speakers and a photo of each of the speakers. In this medium, it''s sometimes difficult to imagine who that person is that''s speaking with their voice and such. So we''ve given you a little cue as some visuals of those individuals as well as their titles and their names. And then the second part that you should have would be the actual kind of outline of the discussion that the presenters are going to have today. So hopefully you have those documents and can refer to them, and if you do not, please contact our office, either by e-mail at ADA conferences at ADA Great Lakes dot org or at 877-232-1990, and we''ll get those to you ASAP. We have individuals who are joining us today in a multitude of different methods. We have people who are on the telephone. Some individuals are using streaming audio on the Internet, and we have other individuals who may be joining us through real-time captioning streamed on the Internet. So as we have questions and such, our moderators and our presenters will be repeating them to make sure everyone hears them. They also will be identifying who they are as they speak because it is difficult when we have a multitude of people for everyone to keep on target who''s on first and who''s on second. They will also be allowing for some time during our session for you today to ask questions, and at that time, when we''re ready for that, the operator will come back on and give you instructions on how to go about asking questions. So without further delay, I would like to turn it over to Don Brandon, who is the director of the Northwest ADA Center. And Don will take it away.
Thank you, Robin, and I want to thank the audience of people that have joined us for this audio conference, and let me just take just a quick moment to introduce our panelists. And let''s start with our, our participant that wasn''t with us last time that is with us this time, from the National Center on Accessibility, Jennifer Skulsky. She claims to be an accessiologist -
That, that''s not true, now.
[laughs] And, and we also have Randy Ditner, who''s the, one of the founders of Meeting the Challenge out of the Rocky Mountain region of the National Centers on Region 8, a member of the, the DBTAC Network. Mark Derry is also joining us from Derry and Associates. He was with us last time, and he serves as the president of that company and conducts successfully to all the country. And we also have Bill Hecker, who''s an architect and is making a living now doing things outside of architectural directly as a, a consultant on issues in the build environment, and we talked a little bit about that this morning in regards to some of the court decisions he''s offering expert witness on regarding the Caltrans case. And if you refer to the major discussion points in the handout, in the written documents that were sent out prior to this, I need to make a couple of typographical corrections. Under question number five, when we ask the question when reviewing court decisions made, I, I quoted the wrong court case. That should have been Kinney vs. Yerusalim, K-I-N-N-E-Y, vs. Yerusalim Y-E-R-U-S-A-L-I-M, and I left out the Caltrends decision after that. So there''ll be three decisions we want to visit on real quickly. Kinney versus. Yerusalim, Barden vs. the City of Sacramento, and the Caltrends decision. And we''re going to spend about ten minutes towards the end of our discussion point asking Bill Hecker to sort of review of the glaring errors that were made by the defendants in those decisions. So without further delay, let''s go ahead and get into the bulk of our discussion for today, and let''s turn our attention to question number one, and I''m going to ask Jennifer, since youre our newest panelist, we''ll ask you to sort of kick it off today, and here''s our question. When conducting an access survey in the outdoors, what are the specific variables that will or can change the way you approach conducting a survey in contrast to a facility survey?
OK. Well, to be the first one on the hot seat, I guess, let me give people a little bit of background of how, what we do at the National Center on Accessibility. We are actually housed at Indiana University in the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. We''ve been around since 1992 and have a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service. So our focus is primarily inclusion of people with disabilities and parks, recreation, and tourism. Over the last five years or so, we have assessed more than 300 municipal parks and recreation facilities. Those are mostly through Illinois and Indiana. We also have a, have just completed a pilot project with the National Park Service that was a pilot assessment of 12 national parks, and we''re getting ready to branch that out to 40 additional national parks, and those are small to mid-size parks. And then we have a handful of other special projects and assessments that range from the Grand Canyon and Alcatraz and Muir Woods to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. So that question about, you know, what''s the difference between the built environment and the outdoors probably the first, first thing, first and foremost, because we''re looking at it really from the recreation experiences, our concentration is really on program access, and program access, especially in the absence of standards or enforceable standards for parks and recreation and outward developed areas. So, you know, we''re asking the question about, you know, what is the nature of the experience, what are people supposed to get from the benefit of the, of the experience are coming out to that, that park or forest preserve of that. Another major difference is looking at, you know, the fact that the guidelines in terms of chapter ten in the ADA ABA are only enforceable for our federal agencies and not yet been adopted, and that we don''t have yet enforceable standards for outdoor developed areas, but they are only in a draft form. And then, you know, probably the other thing that, that is a big, big contrast from the, from the built environment, when it gets down to it is the weather. Is that, you know, we usually travel long distances, and I made the, the joke, you know, just like the post office, we''re out there, you know, rain, sleet, snow. You can ask our staff. We''re always complaining that we need better rain gear and that type of thing, but because we''re out in all kinds of elements, think, you know, the other thing is that it can be a little bit probably more tiresome, too, than the built environment, especially if you''re out and part of your assessment is, you know, five miles worth of trails in a day or something like that. But I''ll, I''ll let the other speakers jump in if, if they have -
Great. Randy. Would, would you like weigh in on this?
Yeah. Just to, I think what I would like to add to it is, is to, folks should recognize the vast array of outside areas that, that have to be considered. I mean, Jennifer certainly talked about several, but some others to at least keep in mind when we talk about outside the building. Playgrounds. Playgrounds at schools. Playgrounds in a public park. The play equipment. Zoos. All kinds of parks. The site immediately around a building is outdoors, and, and takes a different kind of, of evaluation. Certainly the, the huge area of public rights of way is something that we''re interested in, a lot out here in, in the Rocky Mountain area is the ski areas. They create all kinds of interesting and different problems, amusement parks. Certainly the, the big ones, you know, the Disney parks and so on create a whole different kind of accessibility problem, most of which isn''t well, as, as Jennifer said, there aren''t really enforceable standards. There are best practices, and what we do is we tend to refer back to the fact that if you are a Title III entity under the ADA or a Title II entity under the ADA, that is a city government, or in the case of Title III a private entity like the Disney amusement parks, you have, you don''t have good standards, but you have to refer back to the fact that the ADA is a civil rights law, not a building code, and that the civil rights law itself certainly would trump the ADA standards. And there are regulations written in each case that talk about program access as Jennifer said. I think another area to consider are all the temporary events. Whether it''s a, a fairgrounds that''s set up once a year, or the, the amusement rides that are put up in a local shopping mall or a, a circus that comes to town. All of those things are, if you will, outdoor environments and, and just don''t fit nicely into any of the, any of the standards, and when you stat to think about conducting an assessment in the outdoors, you really have to start by understanding what kind of a, of an outdoor situation is it? Is it the Grand Canyon? Is it a national park? Is it a city park, or is it one of these more, I would say, improved outdoor environments like a playground? Anyway.
Alright, Bill. Would you address this maybe from the public rights away perspective?
Well, I want to add one more thing to the -
Issue of the outdoor recreations basis. I, I found in my experience that one of the biggest differences or challenges that you find in outdoor context for surveying rather than in a building is in a building you can say that the, the door hardware on the entry door to room 104 is inaccessible round knob hardware and needs to be a lever or accessible hardware. When you''re in a park or on a trail that''s five miles long, you can''t say this is the trail in front of room 104. So it gets an entirely different criteria for analyzing the location of the barrier so that you can communicate it to somebody who''s going to ultimately make a decision on whether to fix it or not.
And with regard, and with regard to the public rights of way use, the challenges are similar to those that Jennifer was discussing, which regard to the scope of the problems, there are so many sidewalks. You go into a large-sized city, you could have hundreds of miles sidewalks that are waiting for you with all sorts of potential barriers. And while it''s easier to identify the location of a particular crack in a sidewalk on a particular block of sidewalk, when you get outside of the grid of a standard downtown, urban block, that same sort of concern comes up with regard to how to identify where those barriers are located.
Mark, your thoughts.
Well, to carry on that thought, whether you''re surveying or assessing the environment down the city streets or in the, in the outdoor true trail side outdoor type of facility, tracking your assessment is going to be [clearing throat] a lot easier if you start out with a good set of site plans or plot plans or trail guides or any kind of thing that you can use right from the start as an assessor in, in, in making not only your entity that you''re trying to give a price to for doing this if you make a living at it, giving them a good estimate can be based on that kind of information, but just keeping everything straight. Which trail was where? Parking spaces on a site and keeping lots in order and, and how many spaces you need to provide are specific to the outdoors, no matter which environment you''re in. And if you''re coming up to a curb ramp, you''re not going to be measuring the curb ramp in the ADAG. You''re going to be measuring around poles, grates, cables, lights. You name it. It''s going to be in the way, and so those are some of the variables that you''d see no matter what the environment.
OK. Randy, I''m going to ask you to, you sort of talked about this a moment ago. What are your thoughts on integrating regulations with standards, and how do you handle elements not covered by any standard?
Well, as, as Jennifer said right off the bat, the vast majority of what we''re talking about in the outside environment is not covered by standards. And so you start with that. But it is important, as I said, to recognize that the ADA is first and foremost a civil rights law. It is about providing access to equal access for people with disabilities. Equal opportunity for people with disabilities, and the ADAG is merely one, or the ADA, ABA, or whatever set of standards is, are merely ways to provide help to all of us out there trying to comply with this law. To figure out what does it mean to be accessible. But at the heart of it, the regulation still says that the program has to be accessible, particularly in the case of a, of a city, state, and local government, Title II entity, where we''re talking about program access as the key driver. It''s right there. It says, you know, I really don''t care if there are no official standards for trails. If you are a city government, and you have a, a program that is providing trails and walkways throughout your city, you need to make them accessible whatever that means. And so you, you start with that, and I believe at that point, then, you look for what are the best practices to the extent that you can use standards out of the AD, out of the ADAG, that''s great. And certainly curb ramps are specified there. So you can use those standards. But there really aren''t any standards right now for trails. Well, what do you do? You make your best effort, and that''s all you can do, and you use the best information that''s out there. There are a lot of good guidelines out there for trails, for play equipment, for temporary events. There''s a lot of good stuff out therefor public rights of way. There''s a lot of good guidance out there that can be used as best practices.
OK, Bill or Jennifer your thoughts on this?
I''m, I''m of the same opinion, opinion as Randy that it''s best to pick an authoritative standard. The closer it gets to a federal document, the more defendable it is if someone makes a complaint or files a lawsuit against the city or county or state government. And maybe Jennifer could share with us a couple of particularly good resources when it comes to trails and outdoor route issues.
Sure. We, well, we use the process when it comes to doing the assessment on trails. It''s similar to the universal trail assessment process that was developed by Beneficial Designs, and basically it''s a method that you go out there, you collect, you use a rolotype tape with collecting the distance, and basically marking the distances where you would have issues with cross loop or running slope. And, you know, there''s a variety of different tools that you could, to, to, to do it that with either a smart level or a clinometer or in some cases we''ve used a GPS and, and laser transit. \You know, one of the things, though, when it comes to, to the question of trails and the new draft guidelines have in it talk about the federal agencies, in particular, documenting their decision-making process, and if there is a section of the trail that cannot be made accessible documenting, you know, what exactly that is, you know, what is, what is their reason, and if there is a need, how do you provide that equivalent facilitation. You know, we have the question a lot of times in our parks, and that''s where we get back to what is the purpose of the trail. What is the experience that you''re supposed to get to it? You know, am I suppose to, is, am I going to go out and half a mile in there''s going to be some great water feature, and, you know, we usually talk about that being the photo op, or am I going to go on this interpretative trail and learn about the different batteries or military installations along the coastline, and if there are terrain issues there that I can''t get to a particular section of that trail, what are our options for either rerouting it or providing another means of access into it, or providing the information that is conveyed there in a different format or that. So it, you know, I guess when it really comes down to it is that each trail we look on a case-by-case basis, and it''s in its unique, you know, it''s unique, and, and what does it have to offer?
This is [crosstalk]. I''d love to follow up, if you don''t mind? This is Bill Hecker. Let me follow up with Jennifer. Do you know, Jennifer, if there''s any Department of Interior''s accessibility, technical assistance, documents that the federal government has used outside the ADA context, but just that might be beneficial for those that are going to be dealing with ADA trail issues?
Well, we use a combination of the, what the Access Board has released in the draft guidelines for outdoor developed areas. You know, that''s the first document that, that actually talks about documenting the decision-making process. There are a couple of publications on the sidewalks, trails, and public rights of ways that have some, some good resource and technical drawings, and there are the, and you, I don''t know if I got the, the title exactly right there. So correct me on that. And then, you know, the universal trail assessment process. So those are, the majority and if we''re talking specifically about trails.
Randy, [crosstalk]. Randy, did you have something to say, or was it -
Yeah. I was, I just wanted to re-emphasize what, what Jennifer was saying, and she said it a number of times in, in a different ways is leading back to program access. I think that''s, that''s just a critical element here when we talk about things that just don''t have standards to, to guide us. I mean, it does get back to that providing access. Whether it''s an alternative means. You know, her example of, of the, the battery along the coastline that may be in a location that, that requires steps and stairs to get to it, but can you provide an alternate way of, of gaining some experience or of experiencing that. The intent, I, and I think it''s important to realize the intent is not to pave the wilderness. It''s not to somehow flatten the Rocky Mountains. It''s just not going to happen, and, and we have to be aware of that. There is a certain amount of common sense that ought to be injected into all of this.
You know, and, and, let, I''ll give you another example here, and, and this is really when it comes down to the question of program access, and how do we do this. We have a trail out at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and it''s a lava tube, and it, for those of you that don''t know a lava tube is when the volcano erupts, and the lava starts coming down the mountain. It''ll hit a large, a rock, and the rock will start rolling like a snowball, and it''ll continue rolling, and eventually the rock pushes through, and it creates a hollow tube because the lava on the outside has, has hardened around it. And so there''s this fantastic trail that goes through a lava tube that is about, the, the lava tube itself is about 15-foot high, and the tube, and I''d say that section of the trail is less than a quarter of a mile. But the elevation change, that, the change in elevation from the parking down to the lava tube itself is more than 50 feet. And it''s in a rainforest. So how, there''s no way we''re going to be able to flatten that area. There''s no way we''re going to be able to put in an elevator in the outdoors, but it''s an awesome programmatic experience. So the question is how can we either get people to it or provide an equivalent experience so they understand the importance of the interpretation of that area.
This is Mark. I agree with all of your comments put together. The one thing that I would add to it would be the under the intent of the civil rights laws and accessibility and trying to make decisions when you''ve got questions, the law tells us involve people with disabilities. If you can pull in, for those of your listening to the call who are trying to assess something under a Title II entity, for instance, pull together a committee of folks that are interested, involve people with disabilities, and it''ll be an education process as well as a, a help in the decision-making process for you.
OK. Let''s move on then. Talking about the parameters of the access on outside, when you''re putting this all together, what kind of a team do you want to pull together to collect the data? What kind of preparation, an assessment of client need do you go through? And, Randy, we''ll start with you on this one.
I think we heard a little bit of it. One is it''s a really great idea to have as part of this whole process is a team of people with disabilities who have a vested interest in it whether it''s a, a community group. We worked with the city of Golden, and they had a group that was doing assessments on the walkability of the city that in, included people with disabilities on that committee, and they were very willing to assist us in looking at what areas are the most important, and how can we, you know, they weren''t interested in changing their city into something different than it is, but they did want to have access. So I think that''s a, that''s a critical part of, of getting ready, of identifying a team, and, and preparing to conduct this. I think that it is important to have people on the team that are familiar with this sort of unique environment that we''re talking about. This, this outdoor environment, and, and I''ll, I''ll just say that not every architect out there that is involved in building buildings is all that familiar with the unbuilt environment. And, and some areas that you can look to are a, the landscape architect that is a little more, particularly in a, is still the built environment, the, the urban environment are a lot more aware of the issues that confront us when we look at things outside the building. So it, it is, it is a little more difficult, and I, I think that there are less folks out there that are comfortable with it, that are familiar with it than when we deal with the built environment.
Alright, Jennifer your thoughts.
I''ll just jump in there. Because of the nature of the size of the parks that we do, because they''re so large and a lot of times that they''re in remote areas or that, generally our teams consists of at least two of our staff. You know, generally one is like a data reporter, another person is our measurement person, and then we insist that somebody from the facility has to go with each team. So, you know, we could be out at the north rim of the Grand Canyon and have two or three different teams of two out there, and then have somebody from the park with each team. Generally, we like it to be a maintenance person because they can, nine times out of ten, they can get us into those areas, and they know exactly what it is that we need to be looking at. If it''s a unique structure, like a historic building, or it''s a geological resource, we like to have those people with us as well because we, we want to know for sure not just what the barrier is that exist when we go out to do the assessment, but what is a recommended solution for barrier removal right on site as well. So if we''re looking at a trail that goes through archeological area that has some type of concern with what those artifacts might be, or that we want to make sure that cultural resources person is with us. Then we can talk about, well, you know, can we reroute it, or because they''re going to know, you know, what the issues are in terms of where we might be able to reroute that section, or if it means altering a historic structure. That historic architect would know what exactly is it that gives it its historic significance in that. So those are the people that we make sure are with us.
Well, I try to make sure there''s something from the entity there, no matter what we''re surveying, to give us insight as far as use. I like to involve folks with disabilities on my teams, although I always keep a team leader for each team who''s very knowledgeable in what we do, and then if we have more than one team, we always, always do a pre-training kind of a get together before the big project where all teams come together in one place, and we try out the survey and the assessment and the tools to make sure everything, each team is using the tools the same way so that we get quality data in, and, and we can produce quality results. I also try to make sure, as Jennifer mentioned, that I have a person, I like to call them solutionists - there''s a new word for you, Jennifer - who can come up with those solutions because while some assessments, as Randy mentioned in our first call, don''t necessarily require you to provide solutions, but most importantly provide barriers to programs, for instance. [clearing throat] Some of our work does involve making reasonable solution recommendations, and then letting whoever is getting the report or the decision makers make the final call.
OK. Now when, when we look at, we''ve been talking a lot about trails and stuff, well, what about when you''re pulling together a team to look at docks and harbors or amusement parks and stuff like that, [clearing throat] would that, would that team structure be different. Bill, do you want to dive into that one?
Yeah. I''ve done docks in the past and, and harbor work, and it''s very challenging. The, the key person, I found, in those situations is someone that is intimately familiar as, as Randy suggested with the programs that go on in those facilities. Most are not brand-new facilities. So you''re surveying some type of existing facility in the context of ADA, and you really have to marry the concept of program accessibility with the portions of the facility that would need to be made accessible, and without that type of person on your team, you''re really, you''re really going to have a hard time.
What, what do you do when you have changes in tides, like, 30 feet a day? How do you, how would you make a dock or a harbor like that more accessible?
Well, there, [crosstalk] unfortunately, there are -
This is Bill Hecker
[crosstalk] Yeah. This is Bill Hecker. I''m sorry. There are suggestions in the, the guidance from the Access Board, and you may or may not have seen the almost inconceivably complicated types of ramp systems [laughs] that are used where you have high-tide changes. But basically, you have to work into the design what the range of the tide is to calculate what the acceptable ramp slopes are and when the tides are up or down and the ramps have to adjust with the floating pier.
Jennifer. Randy. Do you have any, an experience in, in dealing with is, issues like that?
I, I, this is Randy. I have not dealt with docks other than, not from accessibility standpoint. I, I''m, I certainly echo the issue, the problem of, of tides creating a, the situation where you''re, you can''t really control the slope. The slope is controlled by nature, and, and I think that''s not unlike the fact that the Rocky Mountains are, in fact, big hills, and you really can''t change that fact. So there are factors that simply, what you, what I think is really critical in all of this, and again, back to program access and, and the fact that we can''t change certain things, at the very least, what we don''t want to do is have someone end up a half a mile or three-quarters of a mile down a trail only to find that we''ve got the situation where you can''t get any further, and the only way out is to completely back track. If I''m going to, if that''s the case, I would like to know that before I start down the trail. Same thing in, in the case of harbors and, and docks and so on. If, if I''m going to get myself into an issue, into a situation, it would be nice to know up front where there might be inaccessible locations. So signage is a really critical part of this.
[crosstalk] I think -
[crosstalk] Jennifer, what''s your [crosstalk], what, Jenn, what''s your experience with signage? Do you have any problems with the [crosstalk] -
I think signage is absolutely critical, and, you know, I think that it does get back to, gosh, has anybody figured out what the buzzword for today is is program access, that it does get back to, you know, what is the nature of the program or the experience that is being offered. And, you know, one of the misperceptions that people have about program access is, it means that it''s staffed or it''s structured, and it does not have to be that way. It can just be any opportunity that is available to people in the outdoors. So if you''re looking at, you know, beach access, beaches, the provision of a beach, that''s a program. So we''re working with a park that has about ten miles of beach access along the coastline, and there are some areas that the terrain is, is so bad there''s just not going to be any way that we''ll be able to provide an access route down to the beach. So now we''re looking back and looking at the, you know, when viewed in its entirety, and, and looking at the park as a whole, where are the best visitor use places that make the most sense for people, for us to provide beach access, and how can we disperse that or distribute it along the coastline there.
Just, let me ask the group this question. Do you think the ADA''s being unreasonable by requiring programs be accessible, and that the outdoor environment is, is, has the challenges that it has, and if so, what, what would be your reasons for that?
This [crosstalk] [laughs]. This is Mark. The, I think the, as an advocate, I would advocate their [cough] access on all programs. If you''re going to provide for someone, you need to provide it for everyone always, but how you do it and looking at the equality of, and the integrated setting of what you do is sometimes the important piece when we''re trying to figure out what we can do in a very, very difficult situation. Those factors come into play as much as anything. Trying to come up with an alternate method and still have equality can be quite a challenge, too, but there, and I, I wanted to get back to Randy''s comment. There''s, there''s guidance on gangways for, for docks and stuff there that we can go to. We have to stop thinking about how steep the ramp may get at low tide. What we need to do is build a very long gangway so that at low tide it''s OK. At high tide, we have a really huge flat gangway. And, and with respect to what tools I bring when looking at the docks and fishing areas, I make sure I bring a fishing pole and a lunch. [laughs]
[laughs] Bill, what are your thoughts about the unreasonableness?
Well, I, I think it''s a case-by-case issue, and it''s, it''s really hard to generalize on those, and, and you just have to u, bring your judgment to the party. So experience counts, and that''s why it''s beneficial to, to have folks on your team that have done this kind of work in the past.
I mean, I think it would be unreasonable if we were to try to specify things to the point where essentially we are paving the wilderness, or we''re trying to flatten the Rocky Mountains. The, the fact is that I don''t think that''s the intent of program access. Program access says that part of it is getting the equivalent experience, and some part of that is the effort and the difficulty, and guess what, people with disabilities are not looking for a paved trail everywhere. That''s just not the case. And, and I also would suggest that the one other thing for us to keep in mind, it''s really easy for us to think about access in terms of exactly one thing, and that is wheelchairs. The fact is that not all people with disabilities are wheelchair users. There are many other kinds of disabilities, and providing access in the external environment, the external, the outside environment whether it''s the, the, the improved somewhat built outside environment or the completely unimproved wilderness environment is about providing access for all kinds of people with disabilities, and that could include a person who''s blind, a person who''s deaf, and, and it''s not all about slopes and so on. It, it, it''s a lot of other things that are included in that, and so even though we may come to a situation where the access to a beach or to some particular facility, the, the lava tube that Jennifer was talking about, it may be not accessible using a wheelchair, but can we improve the accessibility such that a person who walks but walks with difficulty can still get to that experience. Or that the person who''s blind understands the [static] overhead obstruction that they need to watch out for. So I think that the, we have to keep in mind that there''s more kinds of disability than just people using wheelchairs.
And, and this is Jennifer, and I just want to echo on that, and I''m so glad that you brought that up, Randy, too, is, and, and not just thinking about it in terms of the access for the person with the disability, or the person that uses the wheelchair, but it''s really the total group experience. You know, and think about how the group, the family, or friends are using the environment. You know, I travel. I have a working colleague that is visually impaired, and we go out to the parks, and we go out on the trails or through the visitor''s center and the museum and exhibits there, and he, I end up reading 99 percent of all of the interpretative signs to him, and so that after a certain point of reading all these wayside signs on the trails and that, that becomes an exhausting experience for me. It becomes tiresome, and it, it, you know, he doesn''t really want to hear me [laughs] for two hours on a, out on the trails. And, and we''ve seen, you know, unfortunately, this huge emergence with, especially remote or trails like scenic driving trails that you would drive along a stretch of, of road, and then get out at a scenic viewing area, we''ve seen this emergence of the use of cell phone technology. Well, you know, back to program access. Our question is well, how is that whatever the interpretation is that is being the content that is being provided through the cell phone technology, how is that accessible to people that might be hearing impaired, or people that might be visually impaired, or people that don''t have a cell phone or families. You know, I, if I''m taking my kid out there, I don''t want to pass around the cell phone 13 times to make sure that everybody can hear it, you know, because that''s cutting in on my minutes. So you have to, you know, look at what the total experience is and how it impacts everyone in the group.
But cell phone issues, interesting [inaudible]. We''ll have to get back to that one later. So when you''re looking after you put together your access audits, stuff like that, what kind of deliverables in an outdoor environment would be different from the ones from an in, indoor environment. Bill?
You know, I''m going to pass on to Jennifer. She has a lot -
More experience in that than I do.
Oh, I was hoping that you were going to take this. [laughter] Darn it. Well, it depends on the type of agency that we''re working with. You know, if we''re working with a municipal park and recreation agency, and the majority of the assessments that we do, the data ends up going somehow into their transition plan. So for a municipal park and recreation agency, we usually develop a database for them that I, includes identifiers, what the barriers are, then what the recommendations are so that they can start pulling those out and manage the data and to get that into their transition plan. When we do the assessments for the National Park Service, that goes into their overall facility management system and automatically anything that, that we recommend work order and a cost estimate is generated and so that they can shoot that through the pipeline to make their request for funding or that. The other thing that, you know, Mark had mentioned the site maps or the property maps. I can''t tell you the number of parks that the faculty managers or the maintenance or whoever it might be that they haven''t known what the boundary line of the park is [laughter] so that we don''t know, and that, that is really important, especially if you have, like, a coastal trail that goes through a municipal park and a federal park and a county park, you know, who, who''s doing, who''s the, who''s the assessment for, you know, and where, where does your responsibility start, start and stop, and it takes over for somebody else. So, you know, it sounds funny, but we have so many times just gone to Google Earth to download maps there, and if we''re out in the field, you know, we''ll draw on it, you know, what a reroute might be or, or. So we have a lot of, like, in addition, to the digital photos that we always provide, we might do some, like, rough sketches that, an overlay or something.
This is Mark. We''ve, as I mentioned in the first call, we generally deliverables include at least one hard copy of a written report, either a narrative or an Excel spreadsheet depending on what the customer is asking for, which is also delivered on a CD with the accompanying photos that go with the report. And back to that map of the facility, Jennifer, you''re so right. I''ve had large college campuses I did where they didn''t know where the accessible routes were, and part of our assessment contract was to actually generate a campus map by the end of our project so that they would have a map of accessible routes around the campus that the students with disabilities could have as they''re coming online at the school.
This, this is Randy. Let me just emphasize the, the photography part of it. Earlier in this call, we talked about the difference between indoors and outdoors and the fact that I can pretty accurately explain a particular door to a particular room that needs to have a lever handle on it. I think in the case of outdoors, because it''s so difficult to specify exactly which element you''re talking about, the need for photography, for photographs of the various elements is, is even more important than indoors.
OK. What advice would you give to the beginning access auditor? What, what, what [inaudible] be prepared to address? What kind of tools and -
Keep your day job.
Keep your day job. [Laughter] OK.
This is Bill Hecker I''ll, I''ll say the tools for, for analyzing and auditing, parkscape facilities. These are buildings and outdoor, improved areas that are paved like outdoor public rights of way, sidewalks and bus stops and things, are very similar to what you would have when you auditing a building. So you probably have some sort of digital level. You''re going to have tape measurers that will allow you to measure certain features, be they vertical, lifts on the sidewalks, or on the, on the pavement. You rarely have need for a door pressure gauge [laughs]. There''s not a whole lot of door closures in the outdoor environment, but I''ll bring one along nonetheless, and of course, I, I agree with Randy. I think it''s critical that you incorporate digital photos into your survey process. They allow you to have a much better analysis process of the survey experience, and then you can also communicate the nature of the barrier more effectively to your client or to the end user.
Jennifer, have you seen the, these port-a-potties that have these spring-loaded doors, and that would be an occasion, I would think, that where the door pressure gauge might come in handy because I''ve seen some of those doors that are extremely strong, but you''re -
Yeah. We actually use the door-pressure gauge that also has the hook on the other end of it because, and we do use it quite often in the outdoors whether or not it''s for something like the drinking fountains that might be out there, or, you know, or the port-a-potties, anyplace where we have any type of operating mechanism might, maybe for the water pump. You know, the trash receptacles that are supposed to be animal proof, that five-pound operating course is, there, that''s exempt for that, but we like to get a good idea about what that is, and if there are some, if we have to look at a different model or that. So we, so we do bring it with us.
What''s your experience, what''s your, what is the experience of the group of using an inclinometer?
We, we use the inclinometer a lot in the trail assessment, but more often than not, we''re using the smart level to figure out, because we''re really looking at what the solu, you know, what is our solution and concentrating on writing up what the solution needs to be versus what the barrier is. So we''re generally getting what the distance is and, and what that maximum running slope is. So, so what the inclinometer, you know, when we''re talking specifically on the trail can give us an idea from trail segment to trail segment that we''re still looking at what the maximum rise is. You probably, the inclinometer would also be good for that beach access at looking at the high tide level and also for the gangways that, I mean waterways.
But, Jennifer, this is Mark. You have to tell them about the really cool smart tool you used. It has feet.
[laughs] The smart level with the feet on it?
Yeah. What Jennifer uses or, I don''t know if you''re still using it, but when we surveyed together, she had a two-foot smart tool just like the rest of us used out doing a concrete sidewalk that should have a smooth [inaudible] finish on it. That same level would have difficulty on a bumpier surface getting an accurate reading. So in our work, having to do with facilities, we''ve added a little furniture foot on the end of each of our levels, drilled a hole in it, and added a little adjustable foot. Jennifer''s actually used a piece of PVC pipe chop to about two or three, two inches as a foot and bolted to the bottom of the level so that it doesn''t pick up or is affected by little imperfections along the way onto the level over that two-foot stretch. And, and then the, then there''s the penetrometer, Jennifer.
Oh, the penetrometer. And I will say that I can''t take real credit for either one of those. The rotational penetrometer, that is basically a wheelchair caster that is set up on a tripod, and it has a spring-loaded caster, or a spring-loaded caliber on it. So if you put it down into the surface, the first measurement is the firmness of the penetration in inches into the surface, and then you would swing the caster back and forth four times, and it takes a second reading which would be your stability. And so we''re working through the American Society Testing materials to actually develop the field test using the penetrometer for playground surfaces. And both, I, you know, I should mention the clinometer and both the rotational penetrometer, those are all devices that were developed by Beneficial Designs, and the clinometers, the clinometers and the smart levels with the C on it, you can actually get in a trail pack that they''ll put together. The, the, all the tools for you.
This is Randy. Let me just take the opportunity to mention. You were talk, you were talking about a device for maybe the beginning auditor. With regard to public rights of way, in particular, and other things as well, coming up, and I don''t know how many on the, on the call are aware, but coming up in June, from June 20th through June 23rd the National ADA Symposium this year is being held in Denver. And there''s a, a whole range of, of good sessions in that for people that are looking at, at doing audits of various types, and in particular let me draw your attention on Sunday afternoon there''s a sort of an extra feature. It''s a two-hour session on public rights of way where [clearing throat]. The group is going to be led by Lois Tebow from the Access Board, and they''re going to go out on the 16th Street Mall at, in Denver and, and actually look at the issues of public rights of way and what is, as it turns out, a very interesting area. It''s one, it''s a unique public area and was designed by IM Pay, and we''re, they''re in the process of trying to redesign or rework this area to make it more accessible. Special, it, it, it, it''s a unique experience, and if anybody''s interested in public rights of way, I would highly recommend looking up the, the ADA Symposium. Online, it''s just ADA Symposium dot org, and it''s a thing that''s being, it''s sponsored by the, the whole impact national network.
Yeah. Don''t you like that?
Bill your thoughts.
I, I agree. I think you ought to go to Denver and -
[laughter] I was -
Go and participate.
I was thinking about the beginning access auditor.
Oh, absolutely. I, every one of us was a beginning access auditor at some point in our career -
And so I think the key issue there is to try and find technical assistance materials that can help you through at your own pace so that you internalize the process necessary to do this type of work basically without having to go back to the materials later on down the road. I, I cannot overemphasize the benefit having the opportunity to train with people like Lois Tebow from the Access Board who can help you to look at the world in a little different way, and I think each one of us on the panel has had that type of experience and have, have probably experienced the, the curse of the accessibility consultant, which is it''s very hard to turn off your, your access radar when you go out on a date or you''re going to [laughter] the movie or like that.
[laughs] Tell your wife about it.
But there is therapy available. [laughter]
There is therapy?
I''m in it.
You have a coupon for that. [laughter] I, I just want to. I, I, I do also want to kind of piggyback on the advice thereto, and I think really for the outdoors, and especially as we come up on the 20th anniversary of ADA. You know, look, 20 years later, and we''re really not clear what we''re supposed to be doing for playgrounds or beaches or trails or amusement parks, and that is that for people to recognize that a lot of times there''s not going to be a black and white answer. A lot of times it''s going to be shades of gray, and the more people that you can involve in the process. You know, I can''t tell you the number of times that we, our staff quote on quote the experts have been out on a trail, and, and I''m hoping that you''re still there.
We are. Yeah. We''re all here.
Did I just lose you?
You''re, you''re still on. [crosstalk] You''re still on. Go ahead. You there, Jennifer?
She can''t hear us. There''s something that''s happened where she can''t hear us.
OK. Well, let''s, let''s continue, and hopefully she''ll dial back in. From, the next point is what are the bright lines of difference from surveying for a federal entity in contrast to a state-level government or a private-sector client? Hello.
Yeah. I''m here. I''m here. This is Bill Hecker. I can give you my take on that. One of them is their, the federal government, as many of you may or may not know, isn''t covered by the ADA. It has other federal bonds that cover accessibility. With regard to building accessibility, it''s covered by the Architectural Barriers Act, and a huge difference between ADA and the Architectural Barriers Act is that all federal programs with the exception of housing under HUD gets a benefit from what are new ADA, ABA accessibility guidelines. So what -
Are you still there?
Yeah. We''re here you there, Jennifer?
I, I had such a good thought. Mark cut me off, didn''t he?
No way, man.
Go ahead. Finish up.
[laughter] Well, and I, I guess the, the point is that, you know, that there''s so many times you can get a group of people out there that are quote on quote the experts, and, you know, we could be arguing in the middle of, of the park, you know, what the best option might be, and there might be a dozen, you know, different really good options, and it might not necessarily just be that, you know, single black or white put in a lever handle or put in the grab bars.
We''ll use that as an, an occasion to make a decision that works best for everybody from your perspective. Is that accurate?
OK alright that we moved onto, Jennifer, is we''re talking about the bright line differences between surveying for a federal entity, state-level government, private-sector client, and Bill was beginning to talk about that. He talked about the ADA being, so many guidelines for federal programs, and so, continue to talk, Bill.
Yeah. And, and basically there is what arguably is a much better standard in the ADA, ABA guidelines that are still in the rule-making process for ADA compliance with exception of transit facilities, but I would like to ask Jennifer in her work with the folks in the National Park Service how they have been, how they ask, ask you to provide information differently, if they have, on, from what you would provide to, say, a, a county agency or a state agency?
Yeah. Thanks. That''s a great question. We use the ABA guidelines, and then we also reference the draft outdoor guidelines, and then park by park before we start the assessment we sit down and identify with them what they agree on. We''ll present a series of best practices for them, and recommendations for universal design. So we''ll meet with the park in advance, and make sure that they''re in agreement with them. So whenever there are opportunities to use the universal design, we always try to present those as well. In addition, the other resources that we use with the National Park Services, the Park Service has a series of director''s orders that are even more stringent than the ABA or, in the case of interpretation, of Section 508. Like, for example, if there''s a visitor''s center that is providing a film, 508 would just say that it has to be captioned whereas the Park Service director''s order actually says it has to be open captioned. And then it, we also use the Smithsonian guidelines and the National Park Service guidelines for interpretative exhibits.
We''re, we''re, we''re running short of time. So let''s do this. Let''s look at our last question because I think some people are going to be pretty interested in this. In reviewing the court decisions made in the Kinney vs. Yerusalim and Bardon vs. the City of Sacramento and the Caltrends decisions, what glaring errors were made by the defendants, and, Bill, I''m going to kick this to you because you served as a extra witness in the Caltrends case.
Sure. This is Bill again, and I''ll try and make this the Reader''s Digest version. I''ll, I''ll put in my disclaimer that this is the accessibility consultant''s interpretation of those legal decisions, not an attorney interpretation of those, but for access consultants, the Kinney v. Yerusalim decision, which was the earliest of these three basically had two very key components that are, are referenced even ''til today and go on in the future with regard to, to ADA and the public rights of way. That case was, essentially, a case regarding resurfacing roadways and the duty that a state or local government has to install curb ramps on corners where there are no curb ramps if those corners serve crossings that are affected by the resurfacing project. And in the Kinney case, the court, all the way up to the Supreme Court, said that the, the provisions in the Title II regulations that state that you have to ensure that there are curb ramps when you alter a roadway or a sidewalk do affect state and local governments when they resurface a roadway. You don''t have to tear the roadway totally up. If you just go in and do a, a resurfacing, not necessarily painting on a, a seal coat which has just this film type surface treatment, but actually go in and resurface the top of the roadway, then you must install curb ramps, and where they weren''t before, and you must do it in the same project time as the resurfacing project. Because one of the defendants'' arguments was, OK, well, we''re going to do all the resurfacing, then some day in the future, we''ll come back and put the curb ramps in, and the court said, no, no, no, no, no. This is an alteration. Within the scope of the alteration, we have to ensure that curb ramps are there. That idea was parroted in the Bardon v. City of Sacramento case. There were two parts in that case. The first one was curb ramps and transition plans and alteration projects. The more important part for precedence value was a decision that went up to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and later was sent to the Supreme Court and was not heard, sent back without comment. So in the 9th Circuit, the Court said that the sidewalk, the network of pedestrian improvements in a city, in this case the City of Sacramento, is by itself a program, and you have a duty to go beyond just installing the curb ramps under the transition plan and during the alteration work like resurfacing under the Kinney decision, and you have to go in and identify whether there are barriers along the. Well, they didn''t go into the barrier part, but the, the argument is many advocates are arguing for going in and identifying barriers within the area between the intersections where the curb ramps were. In the Caltrends case, which was a very large settlement, over a billion dollars. Californians were disability rights versus California Department of Transportation, also known as Caltrends. The state deity agreed that they would settle this, their case with the plaintiffs, and in that settlement, and actually right before the trial, there was a trial when the settlement came during the trial, there was a decision by the judge, Judge Armstrong, in the Northern Districts of California, and she made what is going to likely be a, a, a presidential decision that is present for future cases around by saying that not only do you have a duty as in Kinney v. Yerusalim to install curb ramps when you resurface roadways and cross curb, crosswalks that the curb ramps serve. You must go back and look at the existing curb ramps to see if those curb ramps comply with ADAAG, UFAS the standards that are cited in the Title II regulations. This was not inherent in the plain language of either the regulations or in the previous case law under Kinney. So that is a very, very large, an expansion, large expansion of the duty under Title II, at least within the context of the 9th Circuit, which is the sort of area out in California where I am. But those are the three case issues and sort of the Reader''s Digest version of them.
OK. So would you say that the first case one was a, resurfacing the roads triggered curb ramps, and the -
And the second case, Bardon v. Sacramento, this is a very simplified version of this, that the curb ramps triggered the requirements to make the sidewalks accessible. -
Well, actually it was just -
That it would, that the Court recognized that the sidewalks are already covered by the ADA. The, the defendants had argued that, yes, yes, yes. We agree. We''ll go back and deal with the curb ramps because that''s in the regulations. Nothing in the regulations specifically said that the sidewalks in the private right of way are program services or activities of the City of Sacramento. So the City of Sacramento argued, we''ll do the curb ramps, but don''t ask us anything with regard to corrections between the intersections, and the facts of the case hinged on a mid-walk crossing, which is a crosswalk be, between intersections that went from one side of the street to a park on the other side. And the city said we''re not going to include those curb ramps in our transition plan because they''re just in the, in the sidewalks. They''re not part of the programs offered by the city, and the Court disagreed. [laughs] And that was the big mistake by the defendants.
[laughs] OK. And, and so what were the glaring errors made by the defendants in these decisions?
Well, that was the big glaring error in the Bardon case was that the city believed that because the curb ramp was located not at an intersection, roadway intersection, but in the middle of a sidewalk, it still crossed the street, but it was in between two intersections. Their big mistake, at least from a legal standpoint, ultimately, was that they did not think ADA covered those curb ramps. The Court corrected them on that decision. In the Kinney case, the, the State of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation argued that they did not have to install the curb ramps when they did resurfacing at the same time as the resurfacing, and the Court corrected that mistake on the part of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. In Caltrends, it wasn''t necessarily a mistake of Caltrends. It just was a very large settlement to ensure program access when viewed in its entirety across the whole State of California, and it ended up being over a billion dollars of agreed-upon retrofits for curb ramps and sidewalk modifications throughout the entire state. And there was an additional sort of landmark court order from Judge Armstrong that included this expansion of the Kinney duty that said not only do you have to deal with the curb ramps when you resurface roads that you, you''re, you''re installing those ramps where there were no ramps at the pedestrian crossings, but you have to go back and survey the other programs and that are affected by the resurfacing and bring them up to current standard.
OK. So it, it makes sense, then, for state-level governments to really understand what their programs are, and not let somebody else interpret that for you through a court decision.
Well, at least to have your own lawyers on your side [laughs] to interpret that for you.
[laughs] OK. Well, with that, we''re going to bring to a conclusion our discussion points. We got, went a little bit longer than we anticipated, but we''ll open it up for questions now with our remaining time.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you have a question at this time, please press the star key and then the one key on your touchtone telephone. When your question has been answered, or you wish to remove yourself from the queue, please press the pound key. Again, if you have a question, please press star, one now.
And while we''re waiting for our questions, I''d like to thank Jennifer Skulsky, Mark Derry, Randy Ditner, and Bill Hecker for your involvement with this today. Thank you very much. And thank you, Don.
The first question comes from.
OK. This is Terri Whitaker with the Indianapolis Resource Center for Independent Living. We are wanting to find out how to actually become an access auditor. Can you go through a little bit about the actual process of becoming an aud, auditor?
Mark, you want to jump in on that one?
[laughs] Get training if you can. The DBTAC, the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center, the ADA Centers, usually will be putting out notices of when training is available. Many have, are based on surveying an assessment, but try to get some education, and, and there''s also a certification process under international building code if you go to iccsave dot org to follow that certification process. That''s under building code, mind you, not under our civil rights law. There is no quote on quote certification currently. You can have all of your folks start with ADA basics dot org on the net as far as self testing themselves on ADA basics to make sure that they''re, they''re in line, they, they really know the stuff on the ADAG, and that''s key. That and using a checklist on every survey when they''re starting out is very, very important. Education, education, education.
This is Randy, and I would echo the, the use of the of, of the DIBTAC. Take advantage of the, of your ADA center in whatever region of the country you''re in, and because they do offer training, help you, but as was just said, there is no way of certifying a person to be an official, if you will, auditor under the ADA itself. Now, within certain states, Texas being perhaps the most, the most significant one, there are formal state-level certifications for facility auditors, but that''s, that hasn''t, that really is not the same as being, if you will, a certified auditor under the ADA. There just is no such thing. What, what you should look for if you''re looking to get an audit done, you should be looking for somebody that can show that they have a significant amount experience, that they''ve done this before, you know, how do they say they got their training. You know, are, are they an architect or not. I''m not suggesting that one has to be an architect to be good at doing facility audits. In fact, sometimes a person who''s not an architect has a better sense of this whole area we were just discussing all day about program access. So it''s, it''s, it''s a difficult question to really answer because there really isn''t a some sort of a course that you can go and take and, and, therefore, be qualified.
This is Mark again. Your state is an international building code state so that iccsave dot org is one education piece you can tap into that applies to at least your local building codes.
OK. Thank you.
This is Bill. This is Bill Hecker. I want to follow up real quickly. Be mindful if you put the shingles out to do accessibility audits that until you get say four or 500 of them under your belt, you do not [laughter] want to be included in litigation. They will take advantage of you. They''re lots of lawyers who are looking to take advantage of disability-oriented organizations that are not overly experienced in accessibility matters, and you just don''t want to find yourself in that situation.
Write me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org , and I can tell you all about it.
Well, I, I think that you also have to, your organization has to ask the question, you know, what is, what''s the purpose that we''re trying to serve. You know, are we trying to do advocacy in the community, and, you know, go in, into a, an agency or a business or that in a friendly way to do ad, advocacy, or are, are you looking to be a consultant and actually make off of it because, you know, I''m going to tell you, it, doing an accessibility assessment is very time intensive. It''s, you know, it''s field work and report, reporting, and I don''t know about you guys, but our report writing, for every one hour in the field, we probably have three to four hours in, back in the office doing the report writing. So you''re not going to become a millionaire overnight [laughs] if you''re looking to become a consultant. You know, and, again, it does, if whether or not you''re looking, looking for somebody to do it, or looking to get into it, it does require that building up of a portfolio, you know, and definitely talking to, if you''re looking at hiring a consultant, to talk to previous clients and what their experience has been with the consultant.
Another thought, too, is to do a couple of them for free.
Get some feedback from the people you''re doing it for, and, and then do some comparison of other work that you may find on the Internet or something like that because you get experience by doing it, but you don''t want, you know, you don''t want your learning experience to be costly for you. And so get really familiar with things that were mentioned like doing the access audit using a checklist, and then writing up a report, and, and what do you want to include in it. Because, just because you have a disability doesn''t make you an expert on all the variables of accessibility, and you''ll need to get some feedback on that.
OK. Thank you.
The next question comes from
Dean: Alright. This is Dean from Hawaii. I wanted, I have one comment and two questions. First, on the tools that were talked about, the one thing we also like to add is having water and sunscreen, especially when we''re in the outdoors. Thank you.
And, and the question, the two questions, first on doing site work, how important do you feel having someone that''s cultural, that''s familiar with the site, that''s cultural, historic, or environmental? And then the second question is I, in, and this is more for Jennifer. In going to national parks, a lot of times I find the accessible stalls have no signage. I''m wondering is that an effort by the National Park to not put excessive signage at their wayside station to identify reserved parking stalls? And also is it important to have the parking stalls all paved or concreted to provide the slope and the surface? Thank you.
I thought that was a only two-part question. It''s like [laughter]. OK. Well, [laughter]. You have to remind me here. Good questions, though.
Cultural, historic, environmental [crosstalk] -
Absolutely. The more that you know about the site, you know, and a lot of times if we''re out, especially in national parks, we''re probably there for five to ten days already. So part of our exit process includes follow-up meetings with each of those professionals if they can''t be out in, on the site with us. That we will follow up and, and ask them specific questions about the recommendation. You know, for example, back to that coastal trail. There is a feeder trail that cuts right through it, and we learned through that process that there is an endangered species of plant in that area. So the, the long-term plan is to cut off that feeder trail so that the plant will grow back. You know, so the more that you have those people with, the, the more headache you can save yourself in the long run. The National, you know, is specific to your question on, on the signage and, and the parking. I think the more and more you''re seeing of parking that they are going to more of that, of paving at least the accessible stalls. Maybe not the entire parking lot, but at least the accessible stalls. If you''re at a park that you don''t see the signage yet or that, you know, also recognize that the National Park Service has billions of dollars in deferred maintenance, you know, over the last 20 to 30 years, and so, you know, that''s part of the process that we''re actually, you know, working with the, the Park Service to identify the combination of maintenance and accessibility. So it might be that the signage has been identified, but it hasn''t come up to the, to its point of funding to, to getting installed yet.
We have another question from
Rick Edwards: This is Rick Edwards. I''d like to have Jennifer, if she wouldn''t mind, comment a little bit on new trail construction in challenging environments, particular where a significant mid-portion just can''t be made accessible.
Oh, Rick. [Laughs] Thanks for the question, Rick. Actually, that question is probably a plant because that is a significant change between the previous outdoor guidelines that were recommendations in report form from the regulatory negotiating committee to what the Access Board has recent, recently released as the draft guidelines. And before the draft was released, if you got to a point on the trail in new construction that you could not make that section of the trail, the whole remainder of the trail did not have to be made accessible. The new draft guidelines only give you an opt out on that section of the trail for that particular technical provision. So, you know, say for example, that you, you have a section of trail that narrows down to 18 inches because there''s a large boulder or rock formation there. Previously, the, the, the guidelines would say you didn''t have to make the rest of the trail accessible. Now, the draft guidelines say, well, you, your, you can reduce down the clear width, and the clear width does not have to apply to that section, but from that point on, the whole rest of the trail still needs to be go back and comply with the technical provision.
OK. Next question.
I''m showing no further questions.
Robin, well, it looks according to our clock, we''re at about end of our time here. Does that mean that we''re done?
Well, I think if we don''t have any additional questions, then I would just give our speakers one last chance here to say anything that they''d like to say, and any comments that they would like to leave with participants. This would be an opportunity for them to do that.
Yeah. This is Bill Hecker. I just want to thank you again all for taking the time out of your day to come and listen to us talk about accessibility surveying in the outdoor environment.
I''ll, I''ll just reiterate the program access being the, the kind of the key watch word in this since a lot of the standards just don''t exist at this point. Best effort, trying to be reasonable, reasonable about what we''re trying to do, and, and suggest people take a look at the, that ADA Symposium dot org site and consider coming out to Denver, and, and taking a look at a really interesting public right of way at the 16th Street Mall.
I just want to thank everybody for taking time out of their day as well, and, you know, definitely, if you have any questions that are specific to parks and recreation, please, you know, feel free to give us a call or send us an e-mail at the National Center on Accessibility.
That about says it all. Involve people with disabilities when in doubt. We''re not trying to flatten the world, but trying to provide an, a experience for all.
There you go. And, you know, the, this is Don Brandon. I''d just like to say that, you know, when you''re thinking about doing these beginning audits, one of the things I forgot to mention is that once you do a couple of audits for free for someone, get an architect. Pay the money for some architect''s time to get them, get them to give you some feedback on what they see because they''re used to coming up and writing up reports and projects like this, and it''ll be some good training in feedback you can get.
Yeah. And charge, right. Alright. Robin, thank you very much for this opportunity and -
For the ADA [crosstalk] National Networks for allowing us to do this.
Thank you and I want to thank everyone who participated today. I wanted to just direct you to our sessions for the month of May, which is titled "Reservations Please." It''s ensuring access for customers with disabilities from the hospitality industry. That session is scheduled for May 18th, which would be the third Tuesday of May again, same time and same place. So if you''re interested in registration, please go to www.ada-audio.org for more information about that session. The recording and the transcript of this particular session will be available within the next ten business days on that same website, again, www.ada-audio.org under the archives link. You also will be receiving by e-mail, if you already, not already have it, an evaluation form. We really encourage you to complete the evaluation and give us feedback on these sessions. It helps us to make changes or improve the program overall, and we really are interested in, in what your opinions are. So thank you very much for taking time to do that. So I will close out this session. Again, extend my thanks to all of our speakers for giving their time both last month and this month on this particular topic, and Don for serving as moderator, and I hope everyone has a great rest of their day. Thank you very much. You can disconnect.
Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude the conference for today. Again, thank you for your participation. You may all disconnect. Have a good day.