Open House for Accessible Trails
An Open House will be held May 10th in Portland to unveil draft trail information guidelines. Photo by David Hagen.
Imagine what it would be like to take your young nephew with a disability to enjoy a day in the woods, only to find that the accessible trail you thought was suitable for him was indeed too difficult, after all. Had you been able to determine the trail specifications before setting out, you may have chosen to visit another location.
To better inform people with disabilities about what to expect of a trail in Oregon and in SW Washington, a committee called Access Recreation is in the process of developing guidelines so that land managers can provide useful information to users with disabilities to better decide if a particular trail or a portion of that is suitable for them. For example, if a viewpoint on a trail is not connected to an accessible route, that information should be provided.
Access Recreation is comprised of representatives from federal, state and local agencies, and organizations involved in public recreation and accessibility - people who understand the spectrum of disabilities and what trail design features might mean a deal-breaker. Access Recreation is developing universally-accepted shapes, colors and symbols to denote accessible amenities at trailheads to be used on trailhead signs. Consistent placement of universally-accepted icons that users can rely upon finding on a specially-designed webpage will also be a part of the guidelines.
A public presentation of the guidelines is May 10th May 10, 2012 from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm at 1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, Oregon.
For more information, check their website here.