Virginia historic sites: are they accessible to the mobility impaired?
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The purpose of the study was to determine how historic organizations in Virginia have responded to the issue of handicapped accessibility at their properties. The study sought to determine which historic sites are accessible to the mobility impaired, what handicapped accessible features exist in the sites' buildings and what adaptations have been made to programs and activities taking place at the sites. The study also involved exploring reasons why some historic organizations have not made their buildings and programs accessible to the disabled and determining what future plans the historic organizations have for making their sites accessible to all people.
Questionnaires were sent to 228 historic sites in Virginia; 147 of the returned surveys met the research criteria. Even though most sites had at least one handicapped accessible feature, only 40 sites were reported to be accessible to everyone. Video-tours, slides and large photographs are made available to visitors who cannot participate in the entire tour at some of the historic sites. The main reasons historic organizations have not made their sites more accessible are that alterations are too expensive and structurally difficult. Forty-eight historic organizations plan to make their properties more accessible in the future.
A directory, containing a table of accessible features found at the sites, general tourist information and a description of programs available at the sites for the disabled, was compiled from the findings of this study.
- Masters Theses