Sunday, June 16, 2013

Universal Access for Beaches & Parks

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) offers a list of accessible beaches and activities. Outdoor Adventures has some wonderful accessible programs they offer on a regular basis. Northeast Passage also provides many recreational opportunities through a variety of sports.  The New England INDEX is another wonderful resource to local activities and services to support full participation in recreational interests. The Access Board has some guidelines for making sports and recreational facilities accessible.

There are many opportunities to participate in sports and recreational activities. Things have improved but still need our support to make more events easily accessible. The ease in which we access activities still does not compare to the ease of access experienced by people with different abilities. The world was designed for those with typical access needs. Continuing to look at ways to engage in universal design which supports all of us needs to be considered and actively addressed when purchasing equipment, expanding facilities and designing new programs. This does not mean looking at modifications as an add-on, but rather as inclusive design from the beginning. It is a different way of thinking and making decisions which considers everyone and does not look at individuals in terms of categories to comply with a law.

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