The National Center on Accessibility’s (NCA) training programs are designed to actively engage practitioners in examining and resolving recreation access issues. NCA’s instructors are nationally recognized for their expertise and commitment to inclusive recreation environments for people with disabilities. Thousands of park and recreation professionals, architects, landscape architects, planners, interpreters, accessibility coordinators, administrators, advocates, and consumers have participated in NCA training programs. These practitioners have subsequently led change within their organizations and communities resulting in a society more inclusive of people with disabilities.

NCA offers training in a variety of formats, including:

Classroom Courses

Our classroom courses engage practitioners with current, real-world issues surrounding access to parks and recreation. We offer comprehensive training courses at all levels: for those new to accessibility up to accessibility experts. Our introductory courses cover topics such as disability awareness, legal obligations, standards, and program access, while our advanced courses are tailored to specific fields such as interpretation, design, facilities, and historic and cultural sites. We can bring our instructors to you or coordinate and manage logistics for an off-site training location.

Guest Presentations and Workshops

When a comprehensive classroom training course is not suitable, our instructors are available to speak on a variety of accessibility-related topics or conduct short, interactive training workshops. We can provide presentations or conduct a short workshop on any of the topics listed in our Training Library at an event, meeting, or staff-training.

Online Learning

With the 2019 merger of NCA and the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, we now offer development and hosting of e-courses and other web-based training materials specifically tailored to an organization. We can provide live or recorded webinars on a range of accessibility-related topics including service animals, access to historic or cultural sites, serving customers with disabilities, audio-description, program modifications, and many more subjects. There also is a catalog of existing accessibility e-courses and certificate programs that can be made available to agencies.

To learn more or start planning for any of these learning opportunities, contact Accessibility Program Manager, Michelle Cook, at 812-856-0537 or cook32@indiana.edu.

The following training modules, organized by theme, can be taught individually, or blended together to fit agency needs. The modules can be also be delivered in various formats including classroom courses, presented individually as webinars or in guest lectures, or developed into e-courses.

The modules list many of NCA’s available sessions but a model or learning activity can also be customized for specific agency training needs. Custom programs developed previously have included courses focused on inclusive trails, playgrounds, exhibit design, hunting and fishing, and park concessionaires.

Modules marked with an asterisk (*) in the list below are currently available as e-courses. See https://provalenslearning.com/courses?course_topic=57 and https://provalenslearning.com/courses?course_topic=57&course_type=61

 

Foundations of Accessibility  

Accessibility Legislation and Regulations
Program Access*
Accessibility Standards (Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA] and/or Architectural Barriers Act [ABA])
Overview of Standards
Navigating the Standards for Accessible Design*
Disability Etiquette & Interaction Guidelines*
Historical Perceptions of Disability*

Disability Awareness

Understanding the Characteristics of People with Disabilities
Serving Customers with Disabilities
Unique Needs of Visitors:

  • People who are blind or have low vision
  • People who are deaf or have other hearing impairments
  • People with physical or mobility-related disabilities
  • People with cognitive and brain-based disabilities
  • Personal Perspectives of People with Disabilities (guest panel presentation)

Inclusive Design

Universal Design in Parks and Recreation*
Universal Design (customized topic – example: exhibit design, interpretation)
Common Errors and Omissions
Accessibility vs. Usability*

Recreation

Recreation Standards (ADA and/or ABA)
Outdoor Developed Areas
Common Recreation Facilities and Programs
Beaches, Boating, and Fishing
Playgrounds
Campgrounds and Picnic Areas
Trails
Pathway Surfacing and Other Accessible Pathways

Policies, Practices, and Procedures

Regulations for Service Animals & Mobility Devices*
Service Animals
Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices
Inclusive Policies, Practices, and Procedures
Accommodations, Auxiliary Aids, and Assistive Technology
Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Evaluation and Assessment

Assessing Facilities
Assessing Facilities with on-site Application Exercise (in-person only)
Evaluating Accessible Products for your Park
Evaluating Plans and Construction Documents

Accessibility Management

Roles and Functions of the Accessibility Coordinator
Staff Roles in Park Accessibility

  • Welcome People with Disabilities
  • Seeking Input from People with Disabilities
  • Know your Local Access Resources
  • Review Park Programs
  • Be an Accessibility Advocate
  • Respond Positively to Concerns
  • Identify Barriers and Plan for Solutions
  • Ensure Employees are Trained on Accessibility
  • Be an Accessibility Resource
  • Self-Evaluation and Transition Planning Processes
  • Planning and Budgeting for Inclusion
  • Planning for Action  

Historic Site Access

Program and Physical Access to Historic Sites
Historic Preservation Legislation and Regulations
Applying the Accessibility Standards to Historic Sites and Buildings
Historic Site Access Examples

Exhibits and Interpretation  

Universal Approach to Interpretive Programs and Exhibits
Tactile Experiences
Audio Description
Universal Design for Waysides
Universal Design for Exhibits
Accessible Technology in Exhibits

  1. Introduction to Accessibility (in-person) (1-1.5 Days)
  2. Foundations of Accessibility Certificate Program (online)
  3. Access to Parks and Outdoor Recreation (in-person) (3 Days)
  4. Program Access in Parks and Recreation (in-person) (2 Days)
  5. Access to Historic Sites (in-person) (2 Days)
  6. Accessibility Coordinator (in-person or blended online & in-person) (3.5-4.5 Days)
  7. Inclusive Interpretation (in-person) (1 Day)
 
  1. Introduction to Accessibility (1-1.5 Days)

This course provides foundational knowledge and exposure to disability awareness concepts, program access, and guidelines and standards for accessible design. Recommended audience: all park, public lands, and recreation agency staff.

Sessions:

  1. Disability Awareness and Customer Service
  2. Personal Perspectives of People with Disabilities
  3. Know your Local Access Resources
  4. Accessibility Legislation and Regulations
  5. Program Access
  6. Accessibility Standards (ADA and/or ABA)
  7. Universal Design (1.5-day option only)

  1. Foundations of Accessibility Certificate Program (online)

This series of e-courses and applied assignments establishes a strong foundation in the physical and programmatic components of accessibility compliance. This certificate program explores disability and accessibility as a social construct and provides knowledge in disability awareness concepts, program access, universal design, and guidelines and standards for accessible design. Recommended audience: those new to the park and recreation profession or anyone looking to refresh their knowledge of foundational accessibility concepts.

Sessions:

  1. Historical Perceptions of Disability
  2. Disability Etiquette and Interaction Guidelines
  3. Accessibility vs. Usability
  4. Regulations for Service Animals and Mobility Devices
  5. Foundations of Accessible Recreation: Program Access
  6. Universal Design in Park and Recreation Environments
  7. Navigating the Standards for Accessible Design

  1. Access to Parks and Outdoor Recreation Areas (3 Days)

This course includes the Introduction to Accessibility suite, then introduces Universal Design and applies this concept to park and recreation environments. Recommended audience: this course is appropriate for all park, public lands, and recreation agency staff but can be tailored towards career tracks such as maintenance, interpretation, planning and design, and park administrators.

Sessions:

  1. Disability Awareness and Customer Service
  2. Personal Perspectives of People with Disabilities
  3. Know your Local Access Resources
  4. Accessibility Legislation and Regulations
  5. Program Access
  6. Accessibility Standards (ADA and/or ABA)
  7. Universal Design
  8. Common Recreation Facilities and Programs
  9. Beaches, Boating, and Fishing
  10. Trails
  11. Camping and Picnic Areas
  12. Pathway Surfacing and Other Accessible Pathways
  13. Inclusive Policies, Practices, and Procedures
  14. Evaluating Plans and Construction Documents or Universal Design for Exhibits
  15. Assessing Facilities with Site Exercise
  16. Evaluating Accessible Products for your park
  17. Planning for Action

  1. Program Access in Parks and Recreation (2 Days~)

This course is a more condensed form of our 3-day Access to Parks and Outdoor Recreation Areas course, with a heavier emphasis on programmatic accessibility and less emphasis on standards. Recommended audience: visitor services, program planners, media and visual information specialists, educators, interpreters and educators, and management

Recommended online prerequisite: Navigating the Standards for Accessible Design e-course

Sessions:

  1. Disability Awareness and Customer Service
  2. Personal Perspectives of People with Disabilities
  3. Know your Local Access Resources
  4. Program Access
  5. Overview of Standards (ADA and/or ABA)
  6. Universal Design in Parks and Recreation
  7. Universal Design for Exhibits
  8. Accommodations, Auxiliary Aids, and Assistive Technology
  9. Tactile Experiences and Audio Description
  10. Common Recreation Facilities and Programs
  11. Service Animals
  12. Inclusive Policies, Practices, and Procedures
  13. Planning and Budgeting for Inclusion
  14. Field Exercise

  1. Access to Historic Sites (2 Days)

This course highlights the access challenges at historic sites and addresses programmatic and physical access issues in these settings. Ideally conducted at a location offering historic buildings or sites to be used as case studies. Recommended audience: preservation specialists, architects, landscape architects, facilities management, cultural resources staff, interpretation and educational staff, and administrators

Sessions:

  1. Accessibility Legislation and Regulations
  2. Historic Preservation Legislation and Regulations
  3. Applying the Accessibility Standards to Historic Sites and Buildings
  4. Examples of Historic Site Access
  5. Field Exercise: Exploring Physical Access to a specific building
  6. Program and Physical Access to Historic Sites

  1. Accessibility Coordinator Workshop (4.5-day in person~)

This workshop is designed to provide students with the foundational knowledge and skills to develop the competencies to successfully perform the duties of a park accessibility coordinator and enhance the visitor experience for individuals with disabilities. Recommended audience: park and agency accessibility coordinators, park superintendents and upper-level management

~Also available as a blended learning option with online pre-course work combined with 3.5- or 4-day classroom experience)

Sessions:

  1. Understanding People with Disabilities
  2. Personal Perspectives of People with Disabilities in Parks (Panel Discussion)
  3. Role of the Park Accessibility Coordinator
  4. Staff Roles in Park Accessibility
  5. Legislative Summary
  6. Program Access
  7. ABA/ADA Standards for Accessible Design, includes:
    • Standards: Building Blocks
    • Standards to Experiences: Parking
    • Standards to Experiences: Stairs, Doorways
    • Standards to Experiences: Amenities
    • Standards to Experiences: Trails, Routes, & Overlooks
    • Standards to Experiences: Waterfronts
    • Standards to Experiences: Camping and Picnicking
    • Standards to Experiences: Special Spaces
    • Universal Design
    • Historic Sites
    • Policies, Practices, and Procedures: Service Animals
    • Policies, Practices and Procedures: Standard Operating Procedures and Emergency Preparedness
    • Assessing Facilities with on-site Application Exercise
    • Evaluating Accessible Products for your park
    • Planning and Budgeting for Inclusion
    • Planning for Action

  1. Inclusive Interpretation (1 Day)

This course is designed for park interpretive staff, educators, and exhibit designers to provide an understanding of how people with disabilities use and benefit from exhibits, specific design elements, and how interpretation can increase the overall programmatic accessibility of our parks. Recommended audience: interpreters and seasonal guides, educators, media designers, visual information specialists, exhibit designers

Sessions:

  1. Disability Awareness and Customer Service
  2. Unique Needs of Visitors:
    • People who are blind or have low vision
    • People who are deaf or have other hearing impairments
    • People with physical or mobility-related disabilities Mobility-related Disabilities
    • People with cognitive and brain-based disabilities
  3. Legislation and Program Access
  4. Inclusive Policies, Practices, and Procedures
  5. Accommodations and Auxiliary Aids
  6. Universal Approach to Interpretive Programs and Exhibits
  7. Field Exercise