Last modified: Thursday, November 8, 2007
IU center improves access at the original "Rock"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 7, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO -- While the Indiana University football team fights to defend "the Rock" on the football field, an IU center is working to create greater access for people with disabilities at the original Rock, Alcatraz.
The staff of the National Center on Accessibility (NCA) will spend 10 days this month with National Park Service personnel to identify ways to improve access for visitors with disabilities at Alcatraz, Muir Woods, Crissy Field, the Nike Missile site and other areas of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco.
The IU team, led by NCA director and associate professor Gary Robb, will identify physical and programmatic barriers and provide the NPS with recommendations for long-term planning. In addition, NCA is facilitating meetings between NPS personnel and the California-based Disability Rights Advocates (DRA). DRA has voiced concern about access to the national parks. The advocacy group is most recently noted for its 2005 class-action lawsuit against the California State Parks system, the resolution of which requires the state to dedicate $10 million to accessibility improvements. NCA will assist the NPS on transition planning at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area with input from DRA and other local disability organizations.
"The work that NCA is doing at Golden Gate National Recreation Area is focused on opening up new vistas and opportunities for outdoor recreation participation in some our nation's most interesting destinations, such as Muir Woods, Crissy Field and Alcatraz Island," said Robb. "NCA is focused not only on making these and other facilities and programs at GGNRA more accessible to people with disabilities but in working with disabilities groups in changing the culture of how the Park views services for people with disabilities."
Robb is joined at GGNRA by NCA staffers Ray Bloomer, Jennifer Skulski, Nicole Montembeault, and Alice Voigt. Together the team has conducted accessibility assessments in more than 100 municipal parks, recreation facilities and forest preserves over the last year. In addition, they have recently provided consultation to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in Green River, Wyoming.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of NCA, a center within IU Bloomington's Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Studies and the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreatoin. NCA was created through a unique partnership between IU and the National Parks Service to conduct research and provide training and technical assistance to federal, state and local land management and recreation agencies on the inclusion of people with disabilities in parks, recreation and tourism. It is considered one of the leading national authorities on inclusion and compliance with federal disability legislation, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Architectural Barriers Act and the Rehabilitation Act.
For more information, contact Robb at firstname.lastname@example.org and 812-856-4422.