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 MTDC > MTDC Pubs >1223-2806P-MTDC; Accessibility Guidebook for Outdoor Recreation and Trails T&D Publications Header

Accessibility Guidebook for Outdoor Recreation and Trails

Introduction

This publication is an updated version of the original "Accessibility Guidebook for Outdoor Recreation and Trails" (2006 edition). The original guidebook was released the same day the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service accessibility guidelines were finalized as the legal standard for the agency. At that time, the Outdoor Developed Areas Accessibility Guidelines (ODAAG) under the Architectural Barriers Act were still under development by the U.S. Access Board.

Now that ODAAG has been finalized, the 2006 Forest Service Outdoor Recreation Accessibility Guidelines (FSORAG) and Forest Service Trail Accessibility Guidelines (FSTAG) have been revised and streamlined, incorporating the applicable sections of ODAAG. FSORAG and FSTAG look much the same as they did before revision and are still individual documents that integrate universal design, as well as agency terminology and processes. These guidelines are legally enforceable on National Forest System lands. While the guidelines are official policy only for the Forest Service, they contain useful concepts to help other agencies and organizations maximize accessibility without changing the setting in outdoor recreation areas and on trails.

This guidebook was written to help designers and managers apply FSORAG and FSTAG to their work and to provide guidance for integrating accessibility into outdoor recreation site and trail projects. When recreation professionals understand what is needed, accessibility becomes integrated into the thinking, planning, designing, construction, and maintenance of every project from the beginning. Accessibility always is more difficult and costly to implement as an afterthought. Forest Service direction is to integrate accessibility from the start of each project.

Continued coordination among Forest Service employees and with partners is essential to successfully implement FSORAG and FSTAG. The Forest Service is committed to incorporating FSORAG and FSTAG into National Forest System projects and ensuring inclusive outdoor recreation opportunities.