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Last modified: Thursday, December 4, 2008

IU accessibility expert receives National Park Service award

Dec. 4, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Gary Robb, founding director of the National Center on Accessibility (NCA) at Indiana University and retired professor in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, has received the National Park Service (NPS) Accessibility Leadership Achievement Award.

The award, presented to Robb by NPS Deputy Director Dan Wink, honors leadership that has resulted in improved accessibility within the National Park Service for persons with disabilities; has increased visibility for the issue of accessibility in the parks; or has provided policy development or implementation. Robb also was commended for his achievements by NPS Director Mary Bomar.

Robb was recognized for his 35 years of advocacy for citizens with disabilities to have the same opportunities in the park and recreation environment as everyone else. Robb retired in June after serving as the director of the School of HPER's Bradford Woods Outdoor Education and Leadership Center for 29 years and as founding NCA director for 16 years.

"Alongside the NPS staff on field visits, in training rooms and in congressional hearing rooms, Gary has been an outstanding champion of our national parks," Bomar said.

As a professor in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies, Robb worked with the NPS Park Facility Management Division's Accessibility Management Program to establish a cooperative agreement between HPER and the federal agency.

This partnership is carried out through the programs and services offered by NCA. During the last 16 years, NCA has emerged as a national leader in the field of accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities by offering a comprehensive program of research, technical assistance and continuing education. Through Robb's leadership, NCA has been able to provide park and recreation practitioners with research findings, training and consultation on the methodologies to make recreation environments, such as trails, campgrounds, beaches, golf courses, playgrounds and swimming pools, accessible to people with disabilities.

For more information, contact Jennifer Skulski, National Center on Accessibility, at 812-856-4422 and