Accessibility Toolkit for Land Managers

Rethinking Disability & Accessibility for a More Inclusive Outdoors

Accessibility means more than ADA. What makes you feel welcome in outdoor spaces? When you visit a new park, how do you know that people want you to be there, that you belong?

by Willamette Partnership

In the world of outdoor recreation, equity means that all people have the opportunity to enjoy meaningful, empowering outdoor recreation experiences, regardless of their ability level. In 2008, more than a quarter of Oregonians identified as having a disability. That’s a massive percentage of our neighbors, friends, colleagues, and fellow recreators who can feel left out when public lands aren’t accessible or welcoming to them. While not every place can be accessible to all people, that doesn’t mean all people shouldn’t have ample opportunities to glide across the water, ski down a mountain, hunt, fish, or meditate in the serene stillness of nature.

This Toolkit is designed to help land managers understand how people with disabilities engage with the outdoors and what they want out of those experiences, It offers recommendations and best practices for how to transform public lands in ways that are truly inclusive. By developing an inclusive equity lens that takes into account all shades and forms of disability, making commitments to center equity in planning and programming, and thinking about someone’s holistic experience on your land, you can help open up your spaces to your entire community in ways that honor and celebrate diversity

Attached document published October 2020

About the Author

Willamette Partnership is a conservation non-profit with a deep commitment to helping build stronger, healthier, and more equitable communities that are sustained by nature. We believe that people need nature and that the well-being of communities and natural systems is inextricably linked. Communities don’t have to choose between a healthy economy and a healthy environment.

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