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Guidelines for trails on Federal lands are expected to be published in the Federal Register September 26, 2013. Guidelines for non-Federal sites covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will be developed separately through a subsequent rulemaking.

arrow Archived webinar hosted by American Trails on "Trails and the New Federal Accessibility Guidelines"

arrow Questions and Answers from the webinar on Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Guidelines; Outdoor Developed Areas

 

arrowMore resources on Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas

 

Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas finalized for Federal lands

From American Trails

Guidelines for accessibility of trails and related facilities on Federal lands are expected to be finalized in Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas. The guidelines will address access to new or altered trails, beach access routes, and picnic and camping areas. Under this rulemaking, the Board is first developing guidelines under the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) for outdoor developed areas managed by the federal government. Guidelines for non-federal sites covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will be developed separately through a subsequent rulemaking.

photo of wheelchair on dirt trail

Accessible natural-surface trail at Finley
National Wilflide Refuge, Oregon

After lengthy review by the Office of Management and Budget, the guidelines are expected to be published in the Federal Register on September 26, 2013. Led by the Access Board, the work which culminated in these guidelines began with a Regulatory Negotiation Committee in the late 1990s, which included American Trails. Public comment over several years was also part of the process.

The guidelines apply to Federal land management agencies, including the Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and Army Corps of Engineers. Guidelines for non-Federal sites covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will be developed separately through a subsequent rulemaking.

The guidelines cover only new or altered facilities, not existing ones. In addition to trails, the guidelines address beach access routes, outdoor recreation access routes, picnic areas, and camping areas. Guidance is provided for the following constructed features: camping units, picnic units, viewing areas, tent pads and platforms, camp shelters, parking spaces at camp or picnic units, RV spaces at campsites or dump stations, benches, picnic tables, fire rings, grills, trash receptacles, water hydrants, telescopes & periscopes, utility hookups, and outdoor rinsing showers.

Non-Federal entities that construct or alter facilities on Federal lands on behalf of the Federal government are also included. The Federal guidelines will also apply to the following:

The Federal guidelines will become enforceable on November 25, 2013, 60 days after publication.

Guidelines for non-Federal sites covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will be developed separately through a subsequent rulemaking. The Federal Guidelines are under the Architectural Barriers Act, and will be incorporated into the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Guidelines (ABAAG). The ABA and ABAAG are what apply to Federal Lands. Please note you can link to this page for more info about the ABA:  http://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/buildings-and-sites/about-the-aba-standards

For further information on the rule, visit the Access Board website

 

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