Director of Education and Technical Assistance
“Accessibility is not a feature, it’s a social trend.”
Accessibility Specialist – National Park Service
Director of Education and Technical Assistance – National Center on Accessibility
Ray has been with the National Park Service for 44 years. He began his career with the NPS in 1976 as a Park Ranger/Interpreter at Independence National Historic Park in Philadelphia and then as the Accessibility Coordinator at Boston National Historic Park. Ray has been an indispensable part of NCA since it was formed in 1992, and has been engaged as a consulting expert with many of NCA’s technical assistance projects, and training programs. Ray was the Regional Accessibility Program Manager for the NPS North Atlantic Regional Office. Ray was the Chief of Visitor Services and Interpretation at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site. In 1992, Ray became an Accessibility Specialist with the Accessibility Management Program, PFMD, duty stationed at the National Center on Accessibility. As an employee of the National Park Service at NCA, Ray Bloomer is the Director of Education and Technical Assistance. He provides a wealth of expertise on a wide range of accessibility issues from the design process to interpretive programs, publications, exhibits, facilities including outdoor areas and historic preservation, his expertise addresses both physical and programmatic accessibility, and he is considered a national expert in disability legislation and regulations with particular emphasis on program accessibility.
Ray has instructed at over 500 National Park Service and other federal, state and local training courses and conferences on accessibility on topics including Basic awareness training, Program and Physical Accessibility, Employment, Historic Preservation, Recreation Facilities, Hunting & Fishing, Outdoor Recreation, Universal Design and Interpretation.
Ray has also been a guest lecturer on accessibility/disability at Tufts University, George Washington University, Endicott College, Boston University, Northeastern University, Indiana University, and has co-instructed at a Harvard/MIT School of Design accessibility seminar. He also directs and coordinates the many training programs offered by the NCA.
Ray has been active in the integration of accessibility and historic preservation within the National Park Service, along with other organizations.
He has also served as the primary consultant on projects of national significance such as; exhibit and program access at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland and New York, the Cherokee Heritage Center’s Trail of Tears exhibit which received an award for Excellence In Media from the National Association for Interpretation, and was the Co-Chair for the National Museum Task Force funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional major projects of accessibility/Universal Design exhibits include World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island, Fort Pickens at Gulf Islands National Seashore; he has consulted at the new White House Visitor Center and most recently the newly reopened museum at the Gateway Arch National Park. Ray served on the U. S. Access Board’s Federal Regulatory Negotiation Committee on Outdoor Developed Areas. He was the subject matter expert for the US Department of Justice’s precedence setting settlement agreement with the International Spy Museum.
In 2013, Ray was appointed as a member to the National Park Service’s National Accessibility Task Force.
Among the several awards that he received, Ray was the 2009 recipient of the National Accessibility Leadership Achievement Award presented by the National Park Service. In 2010 he was awarded the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Award for Excellence in Accessibility Leadership.
Specific to the topic of employment of people with disabilities, Ray has been an EEO Counselor, Regional Selective Placement Coordinator, and a founding board member of the employee resource group, “Employees for the Advancement of People with Disabilities. Also, upon request, has assisted The WASO EEO Program on disabilities related complaint fact-finding and resolutions.