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.
The following unit features were covered in these guidelines:
- Beach Access routes – BAR
- Camp shelters
- Fire rings, grill, fireplaces and woodstoves
- Outdoor recreation access routes – ORAR
- Outdoor rinsing showers
- Parking spaces
- Picnic tables
- RV parking spaces
- Shared Use Pathways
- Tent pads and platforms
- Trash and recycling receptacles
- Utility and Sewage hookups
- Viewing scopes
- Water hydrants
Beneficial Designs applied for a USDA Small Business Innovation Research Grant to design the Developed Outdoor Recreation Assessment Process (DORAP). This process created a standard assessment for each of the features listed above. For example, over two dozen specific elements must be measured and reviewed to determine the accessibility of a picnic area. BD collects this information using software on a mobile device.
The Outdoor Recreation Accessibility Guidelines were published in concurrence with the U.S. Access Board’s technical specifications along with Beneficial Design’s input on final specifications and illustrations for these features. The U.S. Access Board has published the guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas as part of the ABA Accessibility Standards in Chapter 10, Recreation Facilities, beginning at 1011 Outdoor Constructed Features.