raising the bar for accessibility
what are standards?
Standards define design features for a product. Because our society is made up of people with differing abilities, standards are necessary in order to enable design that is universal in its scope, promoting the inclusion and safety of the widest range of individuals. For example, universal design for differing physical abilities is made possible by standards for buildings, street curbs, or web pages. Basic groundwork is needed in order to identify design issues that have implications for people with any type of impairment. Afterwards, the technical guidelines must be drafted, voted upon, and promoted for adoption as standards.
From 1993 to 1994, Peter Axelson represented American Trails on the U.S. Access Board’s Recreation Access Advisory Committee that drafted the Outdoor Recreation Accessibility Guidelines. These guidelines were later included in the 2015 Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Standards. Additionally, from 1997 to 1999, as a member of the Regulatory Negotiation Committee on Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas, Peter also held a subsequent role in the regulatory negotiation process to address the controversy of how trails, campgrounds and picnic facilities would be made accessible.
This committee addressed the accessibility of the following types of recreational facilities:
- Amusement Rides
- Recreational Boating Facilities
- Fishing Piers and Platforms
- Golf Courses
- Miniature Golf Facilities
- Play Areas
- Play Surfaces
- Ski Areas – where legal requirements are covered by the Forest Service Accessibility Guidelines
- Swimming Pools, Wading Pools and Spas
- Sports Facilities
- Outdoor Developed Areas
As a result of Peter’s involvement with these committees, Beneficial Designs developed expertise in the assessment and creation of access in most types of recreation facilities.
Beneficial Designs continues to assist with the development of standards for various indoor and outdoor environments in order to provide access for people of all abilities. Our mission:
Beneficial Designs works towards universal access through research, design, and education. We believe all individuals should have access to the physical, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of life.
We seek to enhance the quality of life for people of all abilities, and work to achieve this aim by developing and marketing technology for daily living, vocational, and leisure activities.
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RESNA encourages all interested parties to participate in any of the RESNA Assistive Technology Standards Committees. All RESNA Assistive Technology Standards Committees are open to anyone that is interested in providing input into the standards development process. Each committee is required to have balanced participation by consumers, prescribers, clinicians, manufacturers, etc. All perspectives are welcomed and encouraged, including voices from family members, caregivers, teachers, vendors, dealers, insurance providers, consumer groups, government organization representatives, etc.
The RESNA Assistive Technology Standards Board is Accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a standards organization. Anyone that desires to participate has the right to participate and is fully welcomed. For further information on a specific RESNA Assistive Technology Standards Committee please contact the chairperson of the committee you are interested in, or just show up!
Please note that members receive free published standards.