Universal design in forest recreation: planning for a transition towards the accessibility of U.S. National Forest recreation areas

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Virginia Tech

This study tests two methods of transition planning for accessibility to developed National Forest recreation sites. Accessibility is defined in terms of access to opportunities for persons with disabilities as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The subject of the study is the Mount Rogers Ranger District of the Jefferson National Forest located within the state of Virginia.

The two models are tested through a simulated application to the district. The first model was developed by the Forest Service with the goal of achieving full accessibility of all sites as soon as possible. The second model was developed for the purpose of this study and emerged as a result of concerns raised by the first model. The second method is guided by user needs and the desire to manage accessibility development to prevent impacts to current site conditions.

recreation, disabilities