Good day ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Are My Recreation Facilities Accessible -- Where Do I Start? At this time all participants are in a listen only mode. Later we will conduct question and answer sessions and instructions will follow at that time. If anyone should require audio assistance during the conference please press star then zero to reach an operator. I would now like to turn the call over to Robin Jones.
Thank you and good morning or good afternoon -- wherever you might be in the country today. My name is Robin Jones and I am the director the DBTAC Great Lakes ADA Center. The ADA audio conference series is being brought to you by the ADA National Network. And it''s coordinated by the Great Lakes ADA Center. The program today is being offered in many different modes, so let me just cover those briefly as we start today. And then I will go into introduction of our presenter for today''s session and turn it over to her. At that time she will present and have an opportunity for questions and answers. And we strongly encourage you to engage with our presenter today and ask your questions. Just as a reminder people are connected today, as I said, in multiple methods. We''re using telephone. We''re using streaming audio on the internet. We''re also using a webinar platform as an option for people to view the slides if they wish to do so as the presenter progresses. And we are taking questions from you as well in all of those mediums. So individuals who are currently signed in on the webinar series if you so choose you can type in your questions in the chat area of the program and we will relay your questions for you. If you are on the telephone you will be given a queue as to when you can ask your questions and the operator will facilitate that. If you are using real time captioning the captioner will convey the questions for you. So please use the question or the chat tool within the real time captioning to ask your questions and we''ll relay those for you. And if you''re in the streaming audio you have an option as well to enter your captions on that medium as wel.so many opportunities depending on which platform you''re using today. And we strongly encourage you to again solicit your questions. Our presenter did provide us today with an outline of their presentation including a set of PowerPoint slides that were made available to you in two slides per page or three slides per page format for downloading. So hopefully you did that in advance or if you want to they will also be posted with the archives. This session is being recorded and it will be made available on our archive section of the website -- www.ada-audio.org so that you may be able to go back and review that information or the presentation. And please feel free to convey this information to other who may not have been able to attend today that they can go back in the archives and look into this session as well. So in order to get us started I am going to go ahead and introduce our presenter for today. Our presenter is Jennifer Skulski. She is the Director of Marketing and Special Projects for the National Center on Accessibility which is located at Indiana University. I almost slipped on that one. Over the past many years now because Jennifer used to be with the Great Lakes ADA Center in the past, she has provided technical assistance and training to the private sector, state and local government, advocates, and consumers on compliance with the American with Disabilities Act. She previously served as a Director of Education for the National Center on Accessibility and the Associate Director for, as I said, our office -- the Great Lakes ADA Center. She has diverse expertise in ADA regulations, type II implementation, accessibility standards, universal design, and accessibility to playground, outdoor recreation environments, and such. She''s also served as the ADA coordinator for Rockford Illinois Park District. And there she trained park district staff on accessibility issues, assisted the municipality with prioritizing accessibility improvements, facilitated the districts barrier removal, and citizen''s advisory committee, and she participated in their planning committee to renovate more than 60 large parks and neighborhood playgrounds. She is also a certified playground inspector and a member of the ASPM 0.8 committee on playground surfaces. She also recently coordinated a symposium on playground access which was posted by the National Center on Accessibility at Indiana University which brought together recreation professionals, designers, parents, advocates to talk about playground and universal design and inclusion of children with disabilities. So I think you can see by her bio that she has a lot of experience and expertise and is going to help us all understand a little bit more about the changes that have taken place with 2010 standards as it relates to recreation access and really how we if we''re local governments, state government, or advocates, or others involved with recreation issues address our compliance as it would relate to bringing ourselves into compliance. Where do we start reviewing what we have currently? How do we move? What do we have legal obligations to do to ensure full accessibility in these environments? So I''m going to at this time turn over the microphone to Jennifer. So Jennifer go ahead.
Thanks Robin. Wow, by that bio it must be that I''m either really old or I started doing this when I was really young. So I want to go with I started doing this when I was really young. For those of you that are not familiar with the National Center on Accessibility let me tell you a little bit about NCA to start with. We are a Center at Indiana University in the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism studies in the school of Health, Physical Education, and Recreations. And we were created under NCA back in 1992 through a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service and Indiana University. And while the Great Lakes and Regional ADA Centers provide technical assistance and training more globally on the Americans with Disabilities Act our focus is really specific to parks recreation, and tourism. And the majority of our audience that we provide services to run the whole gamut from federal management agencies to state parks and municipalities all the way to consumers and advocates -- people with disabilities, their family members, teachers, principals, architects, you name it. So if you have any questions or that you''re more than welcome to give us a call at NCA. And kind of to give you a little bit of background too on my interest in recreation and program accesses -- over the last five or six years at NCA, you know, we throughout our history have been training agencies on how to do an accessibility assessment, how to do their evaluation, how to create a transition plan. And over the past five or six years we''ve noticed this trend of agencies coming to us and asking us to be directly involved in their accessibility assessments and transition plans. So over the last five years or so we have actually conducted accessibility assessments of more than 300 park and recreation facilities that have been maintained by -- that are maintained by municipal agencies. And then over the last three years we''ve been working on a really neat project with the National Park Service. This started out as the pilot project and has since expanded where this year we''re conducting accessibility assessments of more than 40 of the national parks and then providing information, work orders, and cost estimates back to those parks so that they can start their budget requests and long-term planning in terms of improving access. So in terms of actually conducting the accessibility assessments I''ve been every place from Golden Gate National Recreation Area to the Grand Canyon. We had staff last week that was down in the Everglades. So I know it sounds like a really rough job because we get to be outside and enjoying these beautiful national treasures that we have, but it is actually quite a great experience to be out working directly with the parks and working on how to improve access for their many visitors with disabilities. So I wanted to kind of start with the process when we talk about program access. And one of the biggest myths when it comes to both Americans with Disabilities Act, The Architectural Barriers Act, and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act when people hear program access they often think that that means that the program has to be staffed and structured. As in, it were tennis lessons or swimming lessons, or it was a canoe excursion with staff actually present, and at NCA when we talk about program access we''re talking about the larger umbrella of the experience. And Robin if you want to go ahead and advance to the next slide I just want to give people the legal context that we''re talking about in terms of title II. The program access standard -- it''s only included in title II but it has its origins in section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act where it really kind of started out -- it was this one little line and it''s probably one of the most creative ingenious lines in the entire regulation. But it basically reads that discrimination is prohibited except as where otherwise provided. No qualified individual with a disability shall because of a public entities facilities are accessible to or unusable by individuals with disabilities be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits the services programs or activities of the public entity. And really services programs are activities. Basically it covers everything that we do. And when we do training at NCA we really talk about the program access standard under title II and when it''s referenced in section 504 that it really kind of got misnamed -- that it should have been called the experience standard. So instead of just thinking staffed and structured think of that entire umbrella of everything that we offer in terms of services, programs, or activities -- or what the experiences that we''re trying to provide our visitors and guests with. Just to give you the equivalent -- if you want to advance to the next slide. While title III does not have the specific text program access it still pretty much gives that same part of the regulation that no individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability -- and the full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations. And so that''s really an umbrella of what is it that your entity or your accommodation has to offer to the public. We''ll go ahead to the next slide. So whenever we start out with -- on our accessibility assessments and working with the park staff we always ask -- what''s the experience? What is the purpose for the center to come out to your park or your facility or your wetland, your nature preserve -- what''s the experience? What is it that you want people to experience while they''re out there? It might be in terms of goods or services or different types of activities. It might be visiting a facility, participating in a structured program. It might be receiving and accommodation or gaining the advantages or privileges. And you know it again really get to the crux of what is the purpose of the experience. Why are you offering it? And a lot of times, you know, people will tell us -- well we provide water access or beach access. Well what is that you want people to get out of that experience? And we have one park in particular right now -- they have 12 miles of lakeshore and throughout those different miles of lakeshore they different beach access points and if you visit each beach each beach has a very different experience. No one beach -- their main beach it''s a pay for use beach. People have to pay a fee to get into the park. There''s a bathhouse there. There''s a concession stand there. It''s really where the majority of people go. I think they have a parking lot that has a capacity for more than 300 cars. And on any given weekend it can be quite congested. Whereas five -- six miles down the road they have another beach access point. It''s nestled in a neighborhood with homes on both sides. People can go -- there''s no pay to use it. They can get right in. This is the one -- it''s a very quiet serene setting. Often times if you drive up in the middle of the day you might see a couple of artists out there with their paints and their canvas and they''re painting the landscape there so same type of program beach or waterfront access, but two completely different experiences. So when we work with the park that''s something that we would look at. What''s the intended experience? And one is meant for very active play, another one is meant for very passive play. So in that type of situation we would say that you really need to be providing access to both of those beaches regardless of the fact to how close together they might be geographically. But let''s go to the next slide and talk a little bit about the balancing act. And I think this comes into play especially because the accessibility standards themselves when we talk about physical access are very concrete. They''re very black and white. But program access gets to be a little greyer of an area. And here we''re trying to figure out how can we provide a good balance of physical access and program access without creating an undue hardship or an undue administrative burden for the entity without fundamentally altering the nature of the program or without resulting in direct threat based on whatever types of modifications we might make. So we at NCA we see that as a very important balancing act to looking at the combination of physical access and program access to put those two together, but to balance it in a way that it doesn''t change what the nature of the program might be. Or it doesn''t result as an economic hardship onto the entity or any type of safety issue. So if we''ll go to the next slide -- I think its slide seven. And we look at this process at the National Center on Accessibility in terms of implementing and accessibility management program. And this model that I''ve included for you this has been adopted by -- there are a couple different models for implement -- management, implementation in general and so we''ve adopted this more specifically to our park and recreation environment or to one where accessibility management is part of the overall commitment for the agency. And at the top it really starts out with defining what the business purpose is, what the mission is of the entity. From there the agency head and board present a commitment to inclusion and provide direction to the staff. And this is the point really where the agency head and the board really clarify what our values are so that whatever actions we need to carry out were all assured that we''re all working off the same shared values. From there an Accessibility Coordinator is assigned to oversee the accessibility management program, and then responsibilities are delegated. And at NCA we really believe that accessibility management while it might be coordinated by one person it''s really everyone''s responsibility. You know, just like safety -- you might have a safety coordinator for your entity, but safety is really everyone''s responsibility. If you see something out in your facility that draws a safety issue know the expectation is that anybody would be acting on that, not just the safety coordinator. So from the access team is formed with representatives from various departments and units. And we believe this is really important too because this is where everybody is invited to the table. You know, if our mission is inclusion we need to make sure that everybody is invited and everybody is included in the process from the get go. So we believe to start that up front can really benefit the long-term of the process. From here information is gathered and this is where we get out into the field and we start looking at our facilities and our grants and start conducting those accessibility assessments. And then we look to consensus building we''re meeting regularly with our access team. And it''s there with everyone involved that we start prioritizing projects and we gain input from both various team members and our citizens groups in order to make educated decisions and really decide what should be our priorities for the next six months, the next year, two year, five years, ten years down the road. From there we begin implementation of our accessibility improvements. And one implemented, you know, here we believe this is just as important as implementation is. We need to evaluate those accessibility improvements and report back to the administration and stakeholders. So we need to be asking questions. How is the -- how has this worked? How can we make it better? What can we do better for next time? In both celebrating our successes, celebrating where we have created improved access, and then also where we need to improve. So from there we''ll go to the next -- to the next slide. So when it comes to getting out there, you know -- here''s the question is what''s the plan. You know, where are we supposed to be in order to know -- where are we right now in order to know where we need to be. and this is just a reminder to all of our title II agencies out there is that one of the big misperceptions I''m seeing from people out in the field is now that the 2010 ADA Standards have become effective and the compliance is set for 2012 people think that they''re under the gun to hurry up and do this. Well reality is we''ve had the last 20 years to be working on our self-evaluation and transition plans. So any information -- any new information coming out of the 2010 standards really shouldn''t be new for any proactive agency. We should have been planning this all along. So there were two different documents that we''re looking at in terms of compliance with title II. The first being self-evaluation where we evaluated our services policies, and practices, and made any necessary modifications to those policies and practices to ensure that they did not discriminate or prohibit participation by people with disabilities. And that document was supposed to be completed way back in 1993. Now both this document and the transition plan if you don''t know where your document is I would really recommend that you either go find it or you start working on it again because a whole lot has probably changed in the last 20 years, especially when it comes to your policies, practices, and procedures. While the regulations do not require you to do a second self-evaluation 20 years out it might be a good idea to revisit that. Along the same lines as the transition plan -- your transition plan under title II was supposed to identify any architectural barriers to programs, goods, or services. Then it was supposed to develop a timeline for the barrier removal. The transition plan itself was supposed to be complete by July 26th, 1992. And your structural modifications were required to be complete by January 26th, 1995. Well reality is in more than15 years out in the field I have not met anyone from any agency that has been fully able to remove all of their structural barriers, let alone met that January 26th, 1995 timeline. More so than anything we''re finding that agencies they either did it as kind of a cursory exercise or put it up on the shelf or they didn''t do it at all. And you know the big trend that we''re seeing in terms of complaints and litigation, especially the complaints that are going forward to the Department of Justice under the Project Civic Access Program is the very first question after the complaint is where''s your transition plan. We''re finding so many entities that never really did their transition plan. And so this is the time -- this is the perfect time to be out there, to looking at your programs and facilities, and to develop your timeline for the removal of those barriers. So from there I''ve kind of said a lot about program access and title II in general -- how about before we get into specifics facilities Robin and Jaime we could open it up for a couple questions if there are any.
Sure, go ahead Jaime -- you want to give some instructions to our participants today.
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. If 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.
I have one that was sent to us electronically to start things off Jennifer. Someone''s asking that for public parks to be user friendly what''s the minimum requirement for -- this is more of a technical question they''re asking a little bit early. You can choose whether you want to do it. But over a surface of for any type of pathway is gravel acceptable? And if not, is blacktop, cement, concrete, sawdust, woodchips, etc.? Some people report that gravel does not work well with walkers and wheelchairs and scooter, and such.
Well that''s a really great question and that gets into the whole question about surfaces in general and what surfaces are accessible, which ones may or may not be on any given day, and which ones definitely are not acceptable. You know, this is some background I would give you is that if you look at both the old ADAAG and the new 2010 ADA Standards when it comes to the requirement for accessible surfaces it is that they''re firmed, stable, and slip resistant. In the outdoors the slip resistant is dropped so they''re just firm and stable. While either through ADAAG or the 2010 standards this is the only part of the technical provisions that is a subjective measurement. It is the only place that we subjectively define what it is to make some accessible. You know, all the other places changes in level, slope, cross slope, maximum grade, we all have objective measurements on that. We''ve been working with the access board and with ASTM to look at the various means that we could actually develop a measurement to something to actually measure firmness and stability. And possibly looking at working with ASTM where we would first develop that standard specific to playgrounds and then hopefully other outdoor environments. At this point it''s become very difficult so unfortunately when you ask me all those -- that list of questions about different surfaces I have to say it depends because we have to reference back to case law. And generally case law has told us yes on asphalt and concrete in terms of firmness and stability. But in terms of looser fill materials like gravel, like pea gravel, like woodchips we have case law in different areas that says that those are not accessible materials. That was a really winded answer.
It was a long winded question, but you gave a good distinct -- succinct answer to that. Jaime do we have any other questions from the telephone?
I am showing no questions.
All right, well that''s good. I guess that means that I answered everybody''s questions. Now -- and now I''m going to open it up to make it pretty muddy. So we''ll advance and start out with fitness facilities. You know, one of the most frequent calls that we get at the National Center on Accessibility is do you have a checklist. I need to go out and I need to do an accessibility assessment -- do you have a checklist? And unfortunately we don''t. We don''t have an easy checklist. A lot of times we''ll refer people to the checklist for readily achievable barrier removal as a starting place because it does a relatively good job on addressing parking and access routes and restrooms and common use areas. But then after that it really becomes a combination of knowing the standards for that specific type of facility. And then also looking at again what is the experience, and getting to the real program access in order to do the assessment. So we''ll go to slide number -- oh I''m sorry, let''s go back here. So when we look at our park and recreation facilities we''re using two different documents to start out with to kind of give us a broad brushstroke of what the definition of accessible is under each of those areas. So we would look to the capture ten in the 2010 ADA Standards in terms of looking at facilities like amusement rides, sports activities, boating and fishing, recreation and exercise facilities, golf facilities, play areas, and swimming pools. And there are just a couple others that are included there as well. Then, you know, what we''ve been advising people to do for the last ten years plus is looking to the most current available information on anything that does not yet have an accessibility standard for it. You know, there are no accessibility standards yet for trails or picnic areas or campgrounds or beaches, and so we look to the most current available information which currently is rule making by the access board under the architectural barriers act for -- it''s called the DREF final accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas. It''s dated from October 2009. And while this rulemaking will only be specific to those entities covered under the Architectural Barriers Act which are federal agencies. We really look to this as the most current available information for all different types of outdoor recreation facilities regardless of whether or not they''re covered under title II or even title three. So through here I''m going to kind of go over each area and then what some of the specific questions that we look at in lieu of having the quote unquote checklist. So we''ll go to the next slide Robin and starting out with fitness facilities. So you know some of the -- some of the key questions we''re looking at here. When viewed in its entirety -- now viewed in its entirety -- that''s language from the program access standard are people with disabilities able to participate and benefit from the fitness and exercise facility. Can people come here? Here''s the question -- can people come here? Can they exercise? The standards simply require an accessible route throughout the facility into each type of fitness facility. But the essence of the program access question is can you actually use the fitness equipment. Can you benefit from the use of the fitness equipment? And unfortunately between both the ADA regulations and the 2010 standards neither specifically addresses the equipment itself. And so we have to kind of fall back to the program access standard and figure out okay how are we going to do this? Well I''m going to go in it and I''m going to look at what are my different types of fitness equipment? I probably provide some ellipticals, some treadmills, different types of cardio machines. How can I provide a good combination of those that people with mobility impairments not only can get, but they can also use? It''s also interesting to point out note this is a gap between the ADA regulations and the accessibility standards themselves. And there are a lot of leaders in our field that recognize where these gaps are existing and so currently we actually have two different groups -- one is on the ANSI/RESNA group and another is with ASTM. And they''re actually looking at the development of standards specific to defining what accessible cardio equipment would look like. And this -- when they''re done with a standard we''re very excited that this will really give some framework to the recreation and exercise facility managers on what to look for in terms of selecting different types of equipment that can benefit people with physical mobility impairment. So is there route, is there clear floor space, is the information communicated effectively? Now I know we have a number of cardio machines that have their TV screens on them -- can you plug headphones into them? Do they have the ability to turn on the captioning on the screen? We have several in the fitness facility that I go to -- we have several TVs that are all mounted overhead and every single one of the TVs has the open captioning set on so that you don''t have to have your radio dialed into that FM station or have your headphones jacked in -- you can be reading what the captioning says on the screen. So that''s just kind of the starting place, but getting back to the essence of the program question is -- can people with disabilities participate and benefit from the use of the program and facilities and services offered there. So move on to the swimming pool. And I think with the release of the 2010 standards this is probably one the sets of technical provisions that is the most misread or misunderstood about swimming pools. Basically when it comes to the physical access we''re looking at that is there a continuous accessible route from the entrance, through the locker rooms, and to the pool or several pools given the nature of the facility. The standard itself says for those larger pools over 300 feet -- 300 linear feet there needs to be at least two accessible means of access. The second part of that sentence people are not fully reading. Only one of those means has to be either a pool lift or a sloped entry. The second means could be transfer system or could be stairs or it could be a ramp. It could be a variety of different things. The biggest misinterpretation of how that particular technical provision is written is everybody thinks -- oh, if I have a large pool I have to have two lifts or I have to have two ramps. That''s not really the case. You only have to have one -- either the pool lift or the sloped entry. But then you also in addition to that have to have either the transfer system or the stairs. Again, you know, looking back at the usability of the facility -- so let''s say you have a pool lift. Is the pool lift installed -- is it installed on a permanent basis or is it something that I have to go over and I have to ask a lifeguard or another staff to install? Is the pool lift something that I can operate by myself? Or does it require the staff to use the hand crank to lower the chair into the pool? The standards require it to be independently operated, but the regulations do not specify whether or not it''s a temporary or a permanent installation. NCA we did the initial research for the access board on access into swimming pools and we found a variety of reasons why pool operators would not want to have a swimming pool lift installed permanently into the pool deck there. The first one -- the most obvious one is the -- in pool management setting it''s considered an attractive nuisance because in one way or another that chair becomes a diving board for a five or six year old. And I know this because I have a six year old and that would certainly be something that he would be looking to figure out how can he jump off that chair in order to get the best splash out his cannonball so another reason that it might not be permanently installed. Well if it''s an outdoor pool, if it''s permanently installed it will cause the lift to weather, erode, corrode, and lose its life cycle much faster than if it were only a temporary installation. Third and by showing in this picture this is a competition pool in the summertime and the installation where that lift is and the piece that goes into the pool is -- goes into the way of the competition lane. So you would either have to shut down that lane or pull out the pool lift one of the two in order so that nobody could become hurt during the actual competition if you were using that. So there''s a variety of different reasons why you might have one temporary or permanently mounted. At NCA we believe it''s not appropriate is for a visitor to show up at the pool and them have to ask for the pool lift to be installed. I''ve done way too many assessments over the last five or six years that we know working with accessibility coordinators that there might be a pool lift at a facility, but we''ll get there and nine times out of ten it''s not installed. We might have a lifeguard or the aquatics manager or a maintenance worker say -- oh yeah, that''s back in the storage room. Hang on just a second. We never usually have that out, but it should be real fast to install. But usually it takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour for everybody to figure out how it was supposed to get installed. Too many times we''ve seen that the chair is broken, the foot rests are broken, it''s not operating correctly, or that -- so we believe that the lift itself it should be available during hours of operation if you''re open from nine to five, it should be available from nine to five. Whether or not you take it down for those special events like a swim meet or an adult party -- whatever it might be you need to figure out how to get that back up so that it is up and working and available during the next hours of operation. The other question that we get a lot is what about multiple pools. If I have an existing facility do I need to have a pool lift or a sloped entry into every one of our pools? And that again I''m going to put you back on the program access standard. What''s the point? What''s the purpose? If you have three pools, each of those pools probably serves a different purpose -- what is their purpose? If they''re serving a different purpose then yes you probably have to have either a pool lift or a sloped entry to each of those pools. Now for example, in this outdoor setting I might have one pool that is a competition pool, another pool that is a more leisure pool, or for a younger age group, or another wading pool. I might have a therapeutic pool that the water temperature is much warmer than the other pools. And then those situations, you know, look at what is the experience? It''s not really feasible for your lifeguard or your pool staff to say -- oh yeah, we''ll just move the lift from pool to pool. Are you really going to follow the visitor around from pool to pool in order to move that lift. It''s probably not appropriate. It''s probably not good customer service. So in those types of situations know it might not necessarily mean getting three brand new lifts this year, but definitely we would recommend that you''ve identified it in your transition plan and that you have a plan for when you will get each new lift -- or each new product to accommodate those areas. The next area -- the next slide''s sports courts and playing fields now here we''re asking is there an accessible route to each court? Does the accessible route extend to the boundary of the sports activity or playing field? A lot of times people think that this means that we want to pave the playing field. No, I don''t want to pave a soccer field; I don''t want to pave a sand volleyball court. My only purpose is to be able to get people to that boundary of sports activity. And from there I''m really looking at some of the program policy and procedure of that sports activity area. Is there an access route to the teams seating area? Is it continuous from both sides of the court? Can you get to either side of the court without having to go back or backtrack around another way? And is there an accessible route to the spectator viewing area? I think this particular slide -- this is a really great example. This is a brand new park; they have a variety of different sports courts there. The closest one is a -- it''s a Baggo court. In Indiana we call that corn hole, but other places call it Baggo. The next court is a Bache court. And there''s a third court farther in the distance -- that''s actually a horseshoe pit. And they have a continuous accessible route that goes to each one of those courts. And it goes to each of the spectator viewing areas. It does not mean making the actual Bache field itself or the Baggo field itself accessible. You know, I like to think about if the standard for an accessible surface is that it''s firm stable and slip resistant -- how do we apply that standard to say an ice skating rink? If I try to apply slip resistance to an ice skating rink I''d probably just fundamentally change the nature of the program. And that certainly is not the intent of the accessibility standards at all. Our only purpose is to be able to get up to it in order to use it and recognizing that the surface itself contributes to the nature of the game -- or the uniqueness of the game. Our next slide there on amusement rides. Again, we look at this one in terms of the accessibilities assessments, when viewed in its entirety, is the amusement ride -- is the program itself accessible? That means is there an access route to it? Is there a loading and unloading area that''s physically accessible to people that might be using assistive devices? Is there companion seating? Is there information in, whether or not it''s the amusement main brochure or signage at the beginning of the ride that indicates what type of ride it is? Is this a ride that you transfer from your assistive device into another seat? Or is it one that you stay in your wheelchair or assistive device and that gets strapped into a car that -- I think one of the best examples of the places that really does a good -- good job of providing this information up front is Walt Disney World. On all their maps and all their viewing areas they show what type of ride it is -- whether or not it''s one that you stay with your assistive device or one that you are required to transfer. And in essence that gives the visitor much more information so that they can pick which ones they''re interested in and which ones they''re able to transfer or would prefer to stay in their chair or other assistive device. From there boating facilities now again, this is another area that the 2010 standards are very specific only in terms of the accessible route to the boat slip itself. There''s rulemaking under way that talk about the accessibility of the passenger vessel. But yet again, here is a gap between the two sections of rulemaking. There''s nothing in either of those -- either the existing final rule or there proposed rule that talks about the means by which you transfer from the boat slip onto the boat itself. We see a lot of interaction from people in the field, whether -- especially in terms of smaller watercrafts that that becomes a personal preference in terms of how they choose to either transfer onto the watercraft based on their own individual preference. But in these larger watercraft or passenger vessels especially when we''re talking about some types of program that is provided, access on to it that might be -- this particular example here has a gain way system that is all hydraulic -- on hydraulics so that it can be raised and lowered based on the current water level or fluctuating tide there at that particular pier. And then also in terms of being on the passenger vessel itself, a lot of times whether or not it''s a dinner cruise or some type of excursion there''ll be a number of safety demonstrations or announcements at the beginning of time -- how is that information communicated to people?- People that might have some type of hearing impairment or might be deaf or, you know, even people that might use English as a second language -- how are you communicating that so that people can be abreast of all that safety information? Moving on to the fishing piers and platforms again, is there an accessible route to the fishing stations and are the fishing stations disbursed. And the issue with dispersion -- this is the one that really hits home when it comes to the program access standard is that you might have a trail along a waterway here and multiple fishing spots or stations, you know -- not everybody wants to fish from the quote, unquote accessible fishing station. If you ask people like my dad who is an avid fisherman the fish aren''t always biting at the fishing pier. So he likes to be able to walk down the trail, pick a more serene place that''s not as loud -- not as congested with as many people. You know how those anglers are -- they''re pretty territorial when it comes to the areas their favorite fishing spots in and where the fish are biting. So what''s the nature of the experience there that you''re providing? If it''s something you know that there are those quiet little serene areas -- maybe you''re looking at providing an accessible trail to other fishing stations along -- you know, that they''re possibly not as constructed as the one that you''re seeing here, but -- they''re more rustic in nature, but they still offer the same type of choice the anglers without disabilities would have. Golf facilities this is an interesting one. I actually just got a call this time of year is always kind of funny at the National Center of Accessibility because we''re always getting calls from undergraduate students that are doing some type of end of semester research paper that -- and the individual that called have lots of questions about his misperception that making the game of golf accessible meant flattening out the golf course. And quite to the contrary -- that''s absolutely nothing that we want to do. We don''t want to flatten out the golf course or, you know, fundamentally change the nature of the game. There are so many different courses that are designed by premier architects and with oversight and direction from a lot of the professional players out there -- some legendary Jack Nicholson courses -- Arnold Palmer Courses and so forth is -- to flatten out those courses it would totally change the whole purpose of that experience. And so, you know, this is one of the areas where the standards really provided a lot more leeway in terms of looking at individual mobility impairment probably would be using an assistive device. So at a minimum we need to be able to provide an accessible route -- a continuous accessible route for golf cart passage from the point that the person would pay for their round of golf, where they would drop off their bag, where they would practice on the putting green, and then throughout the course itself. Now this comes to beg the question though if we''re going to provide the accessible golf cart passage do we have to provide the accessible golf cart. And again, this is another gap between the 2010 standards and the revision to the regulations themselves is that we don''t really have clear direction other than different law suits that are out there -- and whether or not adaptive golf cart should be considered an auxiliary aid. So our case law is showing us -- yes, it''s a pretty good idea to provide an accessible golf cart, but yet again, what is an accessible golf cart because we don''t have any technical provisions for that. And this is a group too I mentioned that as ANSI/RESNA group that is working on fitness equipment they''re also -- they have a subcommittee that is working on what would be the technical criteria for accessible golf carts. So we hope in the next one to two years that we''ll see something going out of -- coming out of this group to give us some more guidance in terms of purchasing an adaptive golf car -- of what that should look like. You know, should it have a safety belt on it or a harness? Should the seat swivel? Should it have hand controls on it -- or what type of hand controls should it have? And hopefully with the work that this group is doing we''ll have some more guidance there as well. Let''s go to -- the next one is play areas. And very similar to the others that I''ve talked about in terms of the playground -- is there an accessible route from the point of entry at the playground to each accessible play component. A lot of people can think this -- that the technical provisions require that the entire playground surface is accessible. That''s not the case at all. There only has to be an accessible route to the ground level play components. You know, and it''s really at that point that -- then we start to ask questions like -- well what are the -- what are the main things that we want kids to be able to do on the playground? You know, what are the main experiences? Is there something that they can do that includes swinging, balancing, rocking, sliding, climbing. And then to take that question one step farther is if a child were participating in those types of things could their parent or caregiver that had a disability -- would they be able to get to them? Or are there any different types of physical barriers that might exist there? Again, the surfacing becomes a main issue and really kind of the driving force about -- it''s whether or not the surface on the accessible route is accessible before we can answer all the other -- rest of the questions in terms of is -- is the ground level components? Are the elevated components accessible? And I''ll just put a teaser out for all of you; is that NCA we are conducting a longitudinal study of playground surfaces. And over -- in May -- this project is funded by the Access board. In May, we will be releasing our year one findings to date. So we''re looking at all different types of surfaces and the year one findings will look more specifically at their initial installation and our findings in terms accessibility at installation with a range of surfaces from port and place, tiles, shredded rubber, and engineered wood fiber. And so look for that if you have interest in it I''m sure the press release will go out to the ADA centers so if you''re on their list you''ll get that as soon as it''s made available to the public. Let''s go to beaches. I''m just going to finish up these couple outdoor areas and then we''ll open it back up for questions. Beaches I really talked about that at the beginning with different nature of each of those beaches. You know, we have a number of parks that we''re working with that they don''t actually provide the -- they don''t actually allow for swimming at that waterfront area, but still people can use the beach whether or not it''s to go on walks, to walk their dog, to fly a kite, to play Frisbee. We have a couple of them that they use it for an evening drum circle and other types of activities, but they don''t want people swimming. You know, so how do you provide access on to that beach? We found a lot of fluctuation because the nature of this different shoreline whether or not it has a high tidal fluctuation or if it has a lot of blowing and drifting sand or how different storm fronts might come in. It might mean that you provide a more permanent type structure -- boardwalk down to the beach and to the high tide level. And other areas it might allow for the installation of temporary surfaces on a seasonal basis that you could just roll out some type of matting, install that for the season, and then pull that back up before the winter season or hurricane season sets in. The next slide on picnic areas our picnic areas -- this is a tough one too. Again, with the proposed guidelines a lot of people just think that -- oh, it means getting a couple of accessible picnic tables and then plopping them down either in the middle of the shelter or out in the middle of the park, but programmatically we look really at the issue of dispersion and the opportunity to provide picnic areas -- or the opportunity of picnicking as a program of how can you provide those different opportunities. You know, some people might want to be in the shade. Some people might want to be down by the water. Some people might want to be closer to the restroom facilities or where there''s running water. How can we provide those accessible picnic elements so that there dispersed throughout the different types of picnic areas that we provide? On the next slide this goes too with campgrounds. This whole issue of dispersion of not only how do I provide the clear floor space in terms of setting up either a tent or parking my RV, to providing the accessible route, to any of the amenities like the picnic table or the fire ring or the grill or any of the utility hook ups. Again, similar to picnic areas people want to see the accessible campsites. They want to see those dispersed amongst the different types of campsites so that people with disabilities again can have a choice of where they want to stay -- whether or not they want to stay close to the shower builder or down further by the beach or by the amphitheater. You know, and one of the interesting things that we''re finding about it is that in terms of landscape architects designing campgrounds they''ve found that coming up with an accessible design because it''s so preferred by a wider audience of people that it''s actually easier to design all of the sites to be accessible. And then it gives everybody a great choice about where they would like to set up their camp. And then we''ll go to our last one on trails. And again, to -- just like golf courses and ice rinks the misperception there that we want to pave the wilderness absolutely positively not. We want to look at the trail, when viewed in its entirety, does it provide the opportunity for people with disabilities to participate and benefit. Do the newer altered trails meet the minimum accessibility guidelines? And really what kind of information can you provide to your trail users up front so that they can make the objective, informative, educated decision about whether or not that trail is appropriate for their abilities. And you might be able to do that in brochures or trail head signage. You know, I really get to the point of what is the purpose of that trail? What is the experience? What am I supposed to get out of this trail? In this picture here is actually our training course last we had a group of accessibility coordinators and supervisors with us out at one of the state parks. And the part of the state park we were at we started out down by the picnic area which was called Echo Canyon. And the whole purpose of naming it Echo Canyon was because you heard an echo -- a faint echo from the falls. Well this trail is Echo Trail that goes to the falls. The whole purpose of using this trail -- of this trail existing is to get people to see the fantastic view of the falls. And so if you know -- if you can answer what is it that you want people to not leave your park without seeing those are the things you know you need to prioritize in terms of removing barriers and ensuring that programmatically they''re accessible. I''ve done a lot of talking here. Hopefully, we have some questions there. If not, maybe that means I did a relatively good job of covering stuff. Robin, if you want to open it up to questions.
Yep, I think we''ll have Jaime give the instructions again and then I have some questions that have been asked online that I also will share with you as well Jennifer. So Jaime you want to give the instructions and we''ll let folks get in queue. And then I''ll give some of the online questions.
Thank you. 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. If your question has been answered or you wish to remove yourself from the queue please press the pound key. Again, to ask a question please press star one. Robin Jones: Now I''ve got some questions here -- a couple of them on golf. So I''ll give those to you on golf courses right now. One is -- says specifically golf courses deal with substantial elevation levels depending on the course -- how does this actually end up getting addressed from an accessibility path of travel issue?
Well it gets addressed -- and again, this is the part we always forget is that there''s a difference in how the standards are applied whether or not it''s new construction or alterations to existing facilities. So at bear minimum let''s say it''s an existing facility -- at a bare minimum we would want to make sure that with a cart that we can get to at least one if not all of the teeing greens, through the fairway, and up to the green itself. So a lot of the courses that we work with they have some type of barrier or boundary or barricade or roping, and we would look to that they either remove that or they install some type of curb cuts at select intervals there so that at a minimum you could drive that cart through those areas. But definitely, you know, in new construction it''s addressed a little bit easier than it is in existing facilities. So at a minimum we would start with -- or try to start with at least one of each of the teeing grounds.
And a second follow up question to that from the same person was -- they are a public entity that operates nine different golf courses in their county. They are having a question to you as to do they need to make all of them or they have to have accessible plans for all of them or can they make two or three deemed as acceptable.
Yeah, I think this is a really good question because now that we''re 20 years into the ADA I think our -- the way that we answer that question is changing. If you asked me this question 20 years ago I might of said well if you''re providing the program of golf and you have nine courses -- when viewed in their entirety in terms of the entirety of the community only making three or four of them accessible might be acceptable. That might have been the answer you got 20 years. And you know take out golf course and insert swimming pool, playground, picnic area, you know, park -- anything. That pretty much was how people tried to answer that question. Twenty years later that''s different. You know, there''s a new expectation and it means -- if all of my friends are golfing at my local golf course five miles down the road I should be able to go to that one too. I shouldn''t have to be relegated to going to the one that''s 15 miles away because that''s the quote, unquote accessible one. You know, and again I say golf course and you could insert playground or swimming pool or whatever that the -- what we know is that you couldn''t make them all accessible all at once. Now you needed to and you still need to have a transition plan that provides some type of timeline and some type of plan for how you''re going to make all of them accessible. It''s just -- one of the best examples I think is playgrounds. Playgrounds only have a life cycle of ten to 15 years based on the equipment and the evolving safety standards. So sometime between ten and 15 years that playground equipment is going to need to be replaced. Well we''ve been working on accessibility standards for playgrounds since 1995 so theoretically at this point if everybody was looking to the proposed acceptability guidelines that were coming out of the access board theoretically every playground right now would be accessible. Wouldn''t that be a perfect world? [Laughing]
Definitely. Okay, why don''t we see if there are any questions from people on the phones?
I do show four people queued up. Our first question comes from Rick Edward [Assumed spelling].
Oh, I''m not taking any questions from Rick.
I''m kidding Rick.
Yeah, thanks. It''s actually from Karen who''s attending with me.
Hey Jennifer and Robin, it''s Karen Cutherby. I''m from Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services.
Hi there, go ahead.
I know you guys have done extensive work in the park systems and playgrounds. Have you guys done much with the soccer associations? Just being in the recreational field in the past and having kids and soccer being so big, I''m finding, you know, tournaments totally inaccessible. You know local soccer fields totally inaccessible. Can you just elaborate -- it''s not a specific question to, you know, recs or anything, but are you -- I know you''ve done so much like I said in the parks and stuff -- what''s being done in --
Yeah, that --soccer fields in particular those are really difficult on a management level to look at the installation of a permanent accessible passing system around them because many soccer fields in terms of the management are shared. You know, they might be in corporate industrial parks, they might be at churches. So when you talk about those leagues you could have soccer fields all over the community that are really empty fields that were really never originally built for the specific purpose of playing soccer. The other issue with the soccer fields, in those different types of fields, is that it''s a very common in the management and maintenance side of it is to change direction of the field seasonally in order to do a better job of maintaining the grass on the field and that. So what we''ve done in the different parks municipalities that we''ve worked with is help them to identify and all parks and recreation agencies that are a accredited by the National Recreation Park Association they have a category system of categorizing their different parks based on size. So you''ll have your larger parks or regional parks and then a neighborhood park, and then a smaller personal park. So what those municipalities will do, and we have a couple in the Indianapolis area that are new construction, is for those sports complexes where they''re designing, you know, five or 12 different soccer fields with the express purpose of hosting those soccer games is that they will build a continuous -- what''s really probably going to be defined as a shared us path or a recreation path around the entire perimeter of all the fields. And then based on what type of field it is and whether or not it would be one that would change directions seasonally or that they would either design in the feeder route to each field, which would include to the team seating area and to the spectator viewing area. So that might be a permanent path or they might look at using a temporary path system. And again, you know, when I say temporary it might be something that''s installed once for the entire season that could be mowed over or it might be something that is put down for, you know, Monday evening soccer games or a weekend soccer tournament.
Okay, I have another individual that has a question, can I ask that?
Justin Park from DRN State Park in Fort Harrison. I have several historic structures -- the first that pops to mind are the Andean Indian Mounds. What is -- we have trouble getting permission to even out in a post sign to display what it is let alone kind of build on it. And then I also have historic site built at the Fort Mounds historic state park home. How do I go about building a plan to allow people to see a second story building from the 1800''s?
Great, those are great questions. Okay, so the first one is you have a historic Indian mound in one of the state parks. And do you have a trail or any type of path to those?
To two of them -- we have 11 totals.
Yeah, programmatically I would look at doing a couple different things in terms or your interpretation and your wayside exhibits -- your signage. In terms of if you have a path, you know, it might not necessarily be -- you might not necessarily have to have a path to every single one. You might have a path to one or a couple different ones. If there''s something unique about each one or -- and when I say a path, you know it to be accessible route or a trail. But you would definitely want to have some type of signage interpretive signage that is accessible in terms of what the map is, pictures of those areas that your can''t get really close to. So I would look at the interpretation of a much more in terms of seeing it as close as you can, but not necessarily every single one to give it more of that one view in its entirety. And then to the historic structures I really didn''t talk about that much, but the very first place you need to start is finding out -- getting a copy of the -- either a historic structures report or whatever the documentation was that was submitted to have that building or landmark identified as part of the National Registry in order to find out what is it about that structure that gives it its historic significance. And then the next question is how are you using it? Are you using it to interpret that era -- to tell the story? You know, and then we would go through a process from there. Or are you just simply using it for office spaces? So what''s your purpose there and we can talk about that -- Rick has my number if you want to give us a call and I''d be happy to come out to Fort Harrison -- it''s a beautiful park.
Thank you Jennifer.
Okay, additional questions please.
The next question comes from Julia Feen
Thank you. I have a couple of questions about the swimming pool as you were going through that. How do you measure linear feet? [Laughing] And if it''s less than 300 linear feet does that mean it only needs to have one or it''s not required to have any?
It only needs to have one, which needs to be either a pool length or a sloped entry -- if it''s new construction or if it''s being altered. I don''t know why this -- why people have this question about how do you measure the swimming pool, but the way that we do it at NCA is -- you see the guy that''s on the PowerPoint there that''s on the trail -- he has that Rollo tape. We literally get our Rollo tape out and we start at each edge of the pool and we measure it out with the Rollo tape around the entire perimeter of the pool.
That was the question -- perimeter or one straight line or whatever, so it --
No, you do the entire perimeter because it''s linear feet.
Okay, Jennifer I have another one online while we''re waiting for the queue up. Are there any outdoor recreational areas that would be exempt or excluded from the regulations depending on the size or capacity numbers? For example, a neighborhood picnic area with one or two tables as compared to a public park with 12 or more tables.
All right, let me see if I understand that. Would it be excluded based on the size?
Would there be any types of exclusions for accessibility related to the size of the entity? Again, if you had something in a neighborhood that had one or two versus a, you know, large city park with 12 or more.
I cannot think of any that would be an exception. You know, obviously in your transition plan if there were a reason that you could show that making any type of modification to that area would be an economic hardship -- you know, an undue burden or fundamentally alter the nature of the program or create a direct threat -- you still have to document what you would do in the lieu of the barrier removal. So you know I guess I kind of get back to the question of why are you offering it if not everybody can go to it?
And especially if it''s in your own neighborhood versus -- you know, you got those --
Issues and things too so definitely. Okay, do we have anymore telephone questions please?
The next question comes from Lisa Moch [Assumed spelling].
Our question has to do about state nature preserves which are different than state parks. State nature preserves the purpose is to protect and preserve the nature and I was thinking that I saw in the new regs that there are now new mobility devices that are allowed to be used for accessibility.
And I was wondering how this is going to affect state nature preserves or if they do pertain to state nature preserves because state nature preserves are trying to do the low impact to the nature.
So I wondered if you could elaborate on the interpretation of that.
Well the purpose of a nature preserve while it is to preserve and protect, the program is interpreting what you are preserving and protecting. So you are offering the program of telling the story that you are protecting and preserving that area. So your program would need to be made accessible. Now what I would highly recommend -- and I''m not sure -- Robin have you guys done a specific session on the mobility impairments or the mobility devices?
No, we have not done a specific session on the other powered mobility -- no. Power driven, no. Jennifer Skulski: Yeah, I''m not going to get into the real specifics of that, but I think in general that Department of Justice did a really good job providing further guidance on that. The American Trails Association did a webinar on that at the first of the year. It was by Janet Zeller from the U.S. Forest Service and you can go and see the archive on their website. It''s an excellent -- she did an excellent presentation because she showed really the whole gamut of different types of assistive devices that people might use in the outdoors. And the -- so she can -- through that webinar archive you can kind of get an idea of the different types of devices. But the purpose of listening to the session and becoming familiar with what the regulation says is that if you have that type of area you need to develop what your mobility device policy is before you''re faced with somebody bringing a different type of device out there that you don''t know if you should allow it or not allow it.
And it was the Department of Justice that has the webcast archived?
No, it''s on -- it''s American Trails. So you can just Google American Trails and they have a whole page under accessibility and the archive is right there on webinar on mobility devices.
Great, thank you.
Again, if you have a question please press star one. The next question comes from Debbie Jackson [Assumed spelling].
Yes, our question here is there anything about accessibility and archery ranges? Jennifer Skulski: There is, I left that slide out -- I''m so sorry. For the purpose of time -- an archery range would be considered a shooting facility. And so it says that five percent, but not less than one of each of your shooting areas or ranges or firing positions would need to have an accessible route to it.
Any additional questions from our audience?
I''m showing no further questions.
Okay, I do again thank everybody for their participation today in today''s session. I hope that you have found the information to be useful to you. I''m just going through and there is Jennifer''s contact information available to you on her slides. It gives you her email and her telephone number as well as the website for the National Center on Accessibility at Indiana University. And so we would encourage you to feel free to contact her if you choose. Thank you for joining us for this session and we will invite you to join us for the next session next month and actually the one that''s on the slide is incorrect -- we''ve actually changed that session and unfortunately did not get it updated on the slide. And it''s actually going to be focused on ticketing under the new regulations. And this is an audio conference we have done in the past -- a webinar on this topic, but this one is really going to be more focused on individuals and the things that they need to know about the ticketing changes and how that impacts individuals when they go to purchase and buy and what organization, entities, people might work with individual with disabilities may want to know about that information. And the speakers will be Cleo King from United Spinal Associates as well as Debbie Segal from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. So we invite you to join that session. We''re updating our website for that particular changed topic. And again, sometimes we end up changing topics around because of either timeliness of issues or issues of speakers and things. So we apologize for any confusion that that might cause anyone. We''ll be sending you an email with evaluation information and we do encourage you to give us your feedback about the session as we do use that information to try to improve the program. And again, thank you everyone. I want to thank Jennifer for your time, your patience with the system, as well as for entertaining as many questions as you were able to do today. So this session will be archived within the next ten business days on our ADA-audio.org website under the archive sections. And that will include a copy of the materials for today, an audio recording in mp3 format, as well as the written transcript for the session. So thank you very much and everyone have a great day.