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Assistive technology webinar

Assistive Technology Webinar

Brought to you by Michigan’s Assistive Technology Program at MDRC.

About the webinar
About the Webinar

Use the chat function on the right hand side.

Questions and comments are encouraged and expected!

The session is being recorded.

We will start recording now.


Increasing access and participation in outdoor recreational environments

Increasing Access and Participation in Outdoor Recreational Environments

Kathleen Laurin, Ph.D.

University of Montana Rural Institute - MonTECH

Missoula, MT

February 17, 2011

Montana the treasure state
Montana Environments– The Treasure State

Montana public lands
Montana Public Lands Environments

Montana has extraordinary natural assets that include
Montana has extraordinary natural assets that include: Environments

  • 320 state fishing access sites

  • 50 State Parks

  • 6 National Parks and Monuments

  • Lewis & Clark and Nez Perce National Historic Trails

  • 9 National Forests

  • 13 National Wildlife Refuges

  • 18 designated Wilderness Areas (3.3 million acres)

  • 24 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Recreation sites

  • 953,574 acres of lakes, reservoirs, rivers and streams

No one resource that provides accessibility information

No one Environmentsresource that provides accessibility information

Montana accessible recreation opportunities maro project
Montana Accessible Recreation Opportunities (MARO) project Environments

  • Pilot project funded by the DBTAC Rocky Mountain ADA Center

  • Create a one-stop resource for comprehensive accessibility information for Montana public recreation lands within a 100 mile radius of Missoula

Montana accessible recreation opportunities maro project1
Montana Accessible Recreation Opportunities (MARO) project Environments

  • This included approximately one hundred recreation areas that are managed by state parks, national forest, and/or BLM

  • We have expanded beyond the initial identified area and have currently completed assessments of 164 sites

Process Environments

  • Gathered user input from persons with disabilities, families, friends, and recreational land use professionals

  • Identified database fields to provide relevant information

  • Met with regional State Parks, Bureau of Land Management, and National Forest Service personnel to establish an awareness of the project and to acquire existing data.

Process continued
Process, continued Environments

  • Compiled additional information from maps, guide books, internet, and other resources

  • Created an accessible searchable SQL database

  • Potential users reviewed database

  • Made adjustments based on reviewer comments

  • Created data dictionary for Trimble Unit

  • Began inventory and assessment field work

Data collection criteria for maro
Data Collection Criteria for MARO Environments

  • U.S. Access Board Draft Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas

  • Forest Service Outdoor Recreation Accessibility Guideline (FSORAG)

  • Forest Service Trails Accessibility Guidelines

  • Universal Design Guidelines

Access board guideline outdoor developed areas
Access Board Guideline EnvironmentsOutdoor Developed Areas

  • Process began in 1997 when Board created the Outdoor Developed Areas Regulatory Negotiation Committee

  • Regulatory Negotiation Committee presented its report to the Board in 1999

  • Board published proposed guidelines for Federal outdoor developed areas in June 2007

  • Comment period for final draft ended December 18, 2009

Access board guideline outdoor developed areas continued 2
Access Board Guideline EnvironmentsOutdoor Developed Areas, continued (2)

  • Guidelines will address trails, camping facilities, picnic facilities, viewing areas, outdoor recreation access routes, and beach access routes

  • Will apply to outdoor developed facilities that are constructed or altered by or on behalf of the federal government

  • Will initially apply to sites developed or altered by Federal land management agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and Army Corps of Engineers

Access board guideline outdoor developed areas continued 3
Access Board Guideline EnvironmentsOutdoor Developed Areas, continued (3)

  • Future rulemaking will apply guidelines to facilities constructed or altered with federal grants or loans

  • Board intends to develop similar guidelines for outdoor developed areas controlled by non-federal entities at a future date

  • Guidelines can be found at

Why does the fs have their own guidelines for trails and outdoor areas
Why does the FS have their own guidelines for trails and outdoor areas?

  • In April 2000, the FS began a policy of using the Draft Access Board guidelines.

  • By 2001 the Access Board was estimating 3 to 5 years before their 1999 Draft guidelines finished their rulemaking/approval process to be final guidelines.

  • FS got a legal challenge for following the Draft Access Board guidelines before the guidelines had been out for public comment.

Usda attorneys told fs to either
USDA attorneys told FS to either: outdoor areas?

  • Stopall new construction and alteration in outdoor areas and on trails; or

  • Follow only UFAS/ADAAG, even for trails;or

  • Develop FS guidelines, to apply within National Forest System boundaries, and take them through the FS approval process (put them out for public comment).

    Forest Service picked option # 3


Universal design
Universal Design outdoor areas?

  • Design of products and environments usable by the broadest public to the greatest extent possible

  • Intent of universal design is to simplify life for everyone by making products, communications, and the built environment usable by as many people as possible

  • Universal design means taking into consideration the needs of as many people as possible without the need of adaptation or specialized design for specific groups

Universal design continued
Universal Design, continued. outdoor areas?

  • Benefits of universal design are safer and more welcoming parks and trails for all

  • Universal design guidelines permit flexibility, if equal or greater accessibility can be provided by a different or more creative design solution

  • In the best of all possible worlds, the concept of universal design would guide the creation of all facilities and programs

Principles of universal design as applied to parks
Principles of Universal Design as Applied to Parks outdoor areas?

  • Equitable use: parks are accessible to all users, provide the same means for all users, identical where possible, equivalent when not;

  • Flexibility in use: parks accommodate a wide range of individual preferences and abilities, provide choice for all;

  • Simple and intuitive: understanding the park and context should be easy, regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language, or skill;

  • Perceptible information: information is communicated effectively to the user regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities;

Principles of universal design as applied to parks continued
Principles of Universal Design as Applied to Parks, continued

  • Tolerance for error: hazards and the adverse consequences of accidents are minimized (most used elements are the most accessible, hazardous elements are isolated or eliminated, provide warnings);

  • Low physical effort: the design can be used efficiently and comfortably with a minimum of fatigue; and

  • Size and space for approach and use: appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, regardless of user’s body size, posture, or mobility.

    (Adapted from North Carolina University:  The Center for Universal Design

Data collection for maro
Data Collection for MARO continued

  • Tools

    • Level (Smart Level)

    • Measuring Wheel (DigiRoller)

    • Tape Measure

    • Pressure Gauge

Tools continued

  • Handheld GPS Device (Trimble Handheld Computer)

  • Data Sheets

  • Digital Camera

  • Livescribe Pulse Smartpen

Web page
Web Page continued

Search page
Search Page continued

Search results
Search Results continued

Database and website
Database and Website continued

  • General information gathered:

    • Contact information for land manager

    • Land manager’s Internet site

    • Directions to the site

    • Information about the setting

    • Information about other (non-accessible) recreation opportunities at the site

Database continued

  • Accessibility information gathered:

    • Accessible activities available at each site.

      • We defined 12 broadly categorized accessible recreation activities that may be available at a site

    • Provide detailed information (such as maximum slope, minimum trail width, and surface type) for each accessible activity available at the different sites to help users determine if the activity is accessible and desirable to them.

Data sheets gps data collection
Data Sheets/GPS Data Collection continued

  • Information can be collected either by filling out the data sheets or the same information can be entered into the GPS hand held computer using an electronic form with drop down menus and text boxes.

Recreation activities

Camping continued

Hiking (Trails)

Biking (Trails)

Fishing (Access)

Boating (Launches)

Playing (Playgrounds)

Scenic/Wildlife Viewing

Picnic/Day Use Sites

Swimming/Water Access


Visitors’ Center

Learning Opportunities

Recreation Activities

Data collected all activities
Data Collected continued– All Activities

  • Parking

    • Marked Accessible (type and number of stalls)

    • Parking Space Dimensions

    • Slope

    • Surface Type (firm and stable)

  • Access Routes from Parking to Activities or Facilities

    • Running Slope and Cross Slope

    • Width

    • Tread Obstacles

    • Surface Type

  • New website design will allow for comments by the assessor to be entered for each activity

Data collected all activities1
Data Collected continued– All Activities

  • Information Signs/Bulletin Boards

    • Height of information

    • Font Size/Contrast

    • Approach to Sign/Boards

  • Restrooms/Toilets located near an accessible activity

    • Accessible Route and Distance

    • Meets standards for door width and turning radius

    • Grab bars/toilet seat height and placements

Hiking biking trail data
Hiking/Biking Trail Data continued

  • Hiking/Biking

    • Length of Accessible Trail

    • Type of Trail (Destination or Loop)

    • Trail Users

    • Maximum Running Slope and Cross Slope

    • Tread Obstacles (Height)

    • Minimum Width of Trail

    • Passing Intervals

    • Resting Areas/Benches

    • Surface Type

Campsite data
Campsite Data continued

  • Parking Pad Surface and Dimensions

  • Outdoor Recreations Access Routes (ORARs) to campsite amenities

    • Slopes, Tread Obstacles, Firm/Stable Surface

  • Picnic Table Dimensions, Clearance, and Pad Surface

  • Tent Pad Dimensions (if available)

  • Fire Ring/Grill Dimensions and Clearance

  • Accessible Routes to Drinking Water (Slopes, Tread Obstacles, Firm/Stable Surface)

Picnic day use areas data
Picnic/Day Use Areas Data continued

  • Noted type of picnic area (group, single, sheltered)

  • Outdoor Recreations Access Routes (ORARs) to each type of picnic area (Slopes, Tread Obstacles, Firm/Stable Surface)

  • Number of Accessible Picnic Tables to total for each type

  • Picnic Table Dimensions, Clearance, and Pad Surface

  • Fire Ring/Grill Dimensions and Clearance

  • Accessible Routes to Drinking Water (Slopes, Tread Obstacles, Firm/Stable Surface)

  • Note other activities in day use area (eg. Horse shoe pits, volley ball courts, etc)

Fishing access boat launch
Fishing Access & Boat Launch continued

  • Fishing Access

    • Water Access (Shore, Pier, Fishing Platform, Dock, etc.)

    • Access Route to Fishing Area/Boat Launch (Slopes, Tread Obstacles, Surface Type)

    • Transfer Device available for Boat Launches

Playing and swimming
Playing and Swimming continued

  • Play Areas

    • Surface type

    • Accessible play equipment available

    • Access into play area (width, tread obstacles)

  • Swimming Areas

    • Water Access (Shore, Beach, Dock, etc.)

    • Access Route to swimming area (Slopes, Tread Obstacles, Surface Type)

Scenic wildlife viewing learning opportunities
Scenic/Wildlife Viewing & Learning Opportunities continued

  • Type of Viewing Area (pedestrian, from vehicle)

    • Access Route to viewing area (Slopes, Tread Obstacles, Surface Type)

    • Height of railing (will it obstruct views)

    • Telescope Height and clearances

  • Type of Learning Opportunity (Signage, Interpretive Programs, Special Events)

    • Access Route to Learning Opportunity (Slopes, Tread Obstacles, Surface Type)

    • Wheelchair Seating available for programs or events

Visitor centers
Visitor Centers continued

  • Parking (marked spaces, dimensions and number of spaces)

  • Access Route to Entrance (curb cuts/slopes)

  • Entrance Dimensions (tread obstacle, width, pressure to open door, door handle type and height)

  • Exhibits and Displays

    • Location of displays, display height, and clearance

    • Paths of travel between displays

    • Font Size and Contrast of Text with background

    • Display Controls Operable with a closed fist

    • Closed Captioning for video displays

Hunting continued

  • Type of game

  • Type of area

    • Established blinds, only open to persons with disabilities, behind-gate vehicle access with permit, etc…

  • Access Route to hunting area (Slopes, Tread Obstacles, Surface Type)

Database gps
Database - GPS continued

  • GPS coordinates of sites to allow users to preview sites within Google Earth and/or enter the coordinates into their own personal navigation systems to assist with trip planning and navigation.

Google earth
Google Earth continued

Database user comments
Database continued– User Comments

  • Accessibility information gathered:

    • Comment feature that provides opportunity for users to share their experiences at a site or with an activity so that future users may be better aware of unique or changing conditions

    • Users may voluntarily provide their email contact information so that they can directly contact each other for additional information

Future plans improvements
Future Plans/Improvements continued

  • Different icons to denote accessible features

  • Dynamic web map with the MARO website

  • Better feature identification in Google Map

  • Improvements in website general design and navigation

Partnerships projects
Partnerships & Projects continued

  • DBTAC: Rocky Mountain ADA Center

  • Community Parks

  • State Parks

  • National Forests

  • National Parks

  • Avista Utilities

Dbtac rocky mountain ada center
DBTAC: Rocky Mountain ADA Center continued

  • Collaborative Partnership in which we serve as members of their research committee and ADA Network

  • Provided funding for Pilot Project and helped support training efforts

Community continued

  • Three Forks Community Trail Evaluation

State continued

  • Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Department

    • Assessment of five State Parks and two fishing access sites on Flathead Lake

U s forest service
U.S. Forest Service continued

  • Working with Northern Regional Office and Individual National Forests on multiple efforts regarding assessments, trainings, and inventories

Federal continued

  • National Parks

    • Glacier National Park - Two-day field trip looking at Glacier’s accessible opportunities and discussion of future plans.

    • Yellowstone National Park – Utah Youth Conservation Corps

Avista utilities
Avista Utilities continued

  • Help maintain and improve multiple recreation sites in areas that they use for energy production

Montana access to outdoor recreation mator

Montana Access To Outdoor Recreation (MATOR) continued

A project which promotes participation in wildlife-associated recreation through the use of Assistive Technology and other supports.

Mator background
MATOR Background continued

  • Funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration

    • Began October, 2008 and Ends September, 2011

    • Draws on Montana’s heritage of outdoor recreation

    • Increases participation in wildlife-associated recreational activities by people with disabilities and those who are aging

    • Promotes participation in integrated settings

    • Will be self-sustaining beyond grant cycle

Benefits of participation in recreational activities
Benefits of participation in recreational activities continued

  • Enhanced mobility

  • Increased socialization

  • Increased independence

  • Improved self-esteem & self-efficacy

  • Community involvement

  • Enhanced pathways to employment

Mator partners
MATOR Partners continued

  • MonTECH/Montana Assistive Technology Program

  • Montana FWP (Wildlife & Parks divisions)

  • Montana Vocational Rehabilitation

  • Montana Independent Living Centers

  • US Forest Service

  • Individual volunteers & sporting groups

  • Private businesses and corporations

  • Equipment developers & vendors

Mator services
MATOR Services continued

  • Education & Awareness

  • Demonstration Events

  • Equipment Loan

  • Volunteer Network

Education and awareness
Education and Awareness continued

  • Provide awareness through outreach

    • Literature, website, activities, trainings


  • Integrate information into FWP modules

    • FWP online & other education materials

  • Dissemination through other entities

Demonstration events
Demonstration Events continued

  • Share information about programs & possibilities, display equipment, and allow participant trials

  • Planned regionally to reach more participants

  • Will occur throughout the funding cycle

Equipment loan program
Equipment Loan Program continued

  • Gathered user input to identify equipment

  • Purchased:

    • Off-the-shelf devices

    • Modified devices

    • Specially designed devices

    • Accessories that have applications for accessibility

Equipment loan program1
Equipment Loan Program continued

  • Recreational AT available for loan within Montana

  • View & request a loan online

  • Available throughout & beyond grant period


Focus-free & image stabilizing binoculars continued

Spotting scopes & scope camera display


Mounts stands tripods
Mounts, Stands & Tripods continued

  • Mounts/supports with adapted options

  • Easy-grip & quick release

  • Offset tripod for wheelchair access

  • Attach to most surfaces

Mount n mover by bluesky designs
Mount’n Mover by BlueSky Designs continued

  • Universally adaptable

  • Mounts to mobility devices

  • Supports many types of devices, including recreational equipment

Navigation equipment
Navigation Equipment continued

  • Obstacle detectors: blind/low vision personal navigation

  • GPS units & 2-way radio; audio output

  • Digital talking compass (English/Spanish)

Adaptive fishing rods reels
Adaptive Fishing Rods & Reels continued

  • Elec-tra-mate fishing reel drive

  • Multiple switch adaptation options

  • Modified standard reels

More adapted fishing rods

C5-6 & C4-5 quad rods continued

Hand-powered cast

Spring powered cast

Sip and Puff rods

Sip-cast, Puff-retrieve

Power Caster

Sip and Puff or chin control

More Adapted Fishing Rods

Fly fishing complete setups
Fly-fishing Complete Setups continued

  • Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO) NXT combo

    • Includes rod, line, manual reel, and case

  • Martin automatic fly reels

    • Aids limited dexterity & endurance

Fishing accessories
Fishing Accessories continued

  • Turboset

  • Strong Arm

  • Angler’s Aid

  • 3rd Grip

  • EZ Cast

Adaptive shooting sports
Adaptive Shooting Sports continued

  • Be Adaptive HQ100

    • Adapted aim & fire

  • Be Adaptive LM100

    • Rifle support/stability

  • Compound Bow Draw-Loc

Viewing hunting blinds

Accessible wildlife viewing/hunting blinds continued

Easy Assembly

Bush in a bag: covers body, head, & wheelchair

Viewing/Hunting Blinds

Trekking poles
Trekking Poles continued

Increases stability and balance

Decreases fatigue

Flip locks, twist locks, anti-shock

Various grips/handles

Rippod trekking shooting stick
RipPod Trekking/Shooting stick continued

Lightweight trekking pole for balance & endurance

Becomes shooting stick with magnetic attachment

Attachment accessories for firearms & archery

Planning to produce camera attachments

Off road manual wheelchair
Off-Road Manual Wheelchair continued

Axess IM

Single, 12” fixed front tire

Basket to carry gear

Optional accessories

Other wheelchairs for off road
Other Wheelchairs for Off-road continued

Quickie 2 manual folding & rigid frames

Invacare Crossfire

Outdoor tires and impact guards

Common child & adult widths

Trail buddy

Rickshaw-like device continued

Attaches to front or back of wheelchair

Facilitates assisted off-road navigation

Trail Buddy

FreeWheel continued

Quick attachment /detachment for most rigid frame manual chairs

Elevates casters & becomes front wheel

Handles rough terrain

Accessible camping
Accessible Camping continued

  • Eureka Freedom Tent

    • Sliding door; no threshold

  • Wall Tent with frame

    • Most accessible

  • Accessories:

    • Raised cot, remote lantern, accessible cook station

Camping accessories
Camping Accessories continued

  • Remote battery-powered lantern

  • Mr. Heater propane heater

  • Coleman camping cook station

Photography v ideography
Photography & V continuedideography

  • Switch adapted digital & video cameras

  • Motorized pan & tilt head with remote

  • Advanced cameras and lenses

  • Tripods with mounting arms & brackets

Adapted watercraft
Adapted Watercraft continued

  • Cataraft with custom frame

  • Standard frame with custom seats

  • Applied ramps & access sites

Water sports accessories

Inflatable PFD’s continued

Standard PFD’s

Oars & complete rafting accessories

Mister personal cooling devices

Water Sports Accessories

Much much more equipment
Much, much more equipment continued…

  • All equipment is available via the website for use in Montana

    • View & search equipment; request a loan

    • Call for assistance

  • Additional equipment to be purchased through September 2011

    * Users asked to suggest equipment they like & will use

Volunteer network
Volunteer Network continued

  • Recruit sportsmen/women

  • Assist with a variety of project activities

  • Partner match provided upon request

Montech services
MonTECH Services continued

  • Consulting

  • Training (on-site and distance)

  • Presentations

  • Customized Assessments and Reports

  • Collecting GPS Data

  • Mapping

Contact information
Contact Information continued



For questions relating to the recreation database and data sheets email:

Jillian Jurica at

Questions? continued

Thank you
Thank you! continued