ADA Compliant Accessible Handicap Directional Sign with symbol located in a park

ADA: Accessibility in National Parks

  March 11, 2019

By Dan Hounsell

Accessibility issues often revolve around ensuring all visitors and occupants have unimpeded access to institutional and commercial facilities. But for many facility managers, accessibility considerations also need to include outdoor spaces that surround these facilities, including public beaches and even national parks.

For wheelchair users, the great outdoors can often be a no-go. But at many of U.S. national parks, which promise compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, it is completely possible to have some fun in the sun, no matter your abilities, according to National Geographic, which recently highlighted four of the best wheelchair-accessible trails in national parks.

Consider the South Rim Trail in Grand Canyon National Park. Many points along the South Rim Trail are suited for wheelchair users. In addition to canyon vistas, the South Rim offers accessible parking spaces, several hotels with adapted rooms, and a visitor’s center with an accessible restroom.

Lynn Houston has visited the South Rim Trail multiple times in her manual wheelchair. Her area of choice for admiring the Grand Canyon is near the hotels and lodges. Houston says she loved “being able to see the canyon while seated. There are smooth areas where you can get a great view without being tall or able to stand.”

Dan Hounsell is editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions and FacilitiesNet.com.



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