News: New Accessibility Guidelines Issued for Outdoor Areas on Federal Lands

On Thursday, September 26, 2013 the United States Access Board issued new guidelines for accessibility with regards to outdoor areas on Federal Lands.  Outdoor areas include trails, camping areas, vistas, access routes and any other developed areas in the outdoors that are being built or altered.  The guidelines also include exceptions where certain factors make compliance impracticable.  The accessibility guidelines tackle issues such as the surface of trails, their width, cross slope and grade.

These guidelines only apply to outdoor areas managed by the Federal Government.  Guidelines for sites that are not managed by the Federal Government by covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act will be separately developed at another time.  For the Federal Government, these guidelines apply to Federal Agencies that develop outdoor areas for recreational purposes.  Those agencies include the National Park Service, the Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, the Army Corp of Engineers, the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Reclamation.

To learn more about the guidelines, the Access Board has posted the guidelines on its website.

American Trails has a section of their website devoted to information from the Access Board.  American Trails also has an Accessibility Section on their website.

The National Forest Service has updated their guidance on Accessibility Issues.