Achieving accessibility in outdoor environments has long been a source of inquiry due to challenges and constraints posed by terrain, the degree of development, construction practices and materials, and other factors. The Board has issued new accessibility guidelines for national parks and other outdoor areas developed by the federal government. These guidelines address access to trails, picnic and camping areas, viewing areas, beach access routes and other components of outdoor developed areas on federal sites when newly built or altered. They also provide exceptions for situations where terrain and other factors make compliance impracticable. The requirements become mandatory on November 25, 2013 as part of the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards, which apply to facilities that are built, altered, or leased with federal funds.
The Board intends to develop guidelines for non-federal outdoor sites covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) through a subsequent rulemaking.