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 A publication of the New England ADA Center                                                             March 2012
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ADA Recreational Checklist Check Mark ImageADA Recreation Checklists Available


The recreational checklists are based on the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. they update the original ADA Checklist for Readily Achievable Barrier Removal which was based on the 1991 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. The original checklist was issued in 1992 and revised in 1995.

Beginning March 15 municipalities, state agencies, nonprofit organization and businesses that construct or alter recreation facilities must make sure they are accessible to people with disabilities. The requirement applies to swimming pools, saunas, fishing piers, recreational boating piers, golf and miniature golf facilities, playgrounds, amusement rides, team and player seating and shooting facilities. Chapter 10 of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design contains the design requirements.


Recreation facilities that were built before March 15, 2010 must be made accessible to the extent the alterations would be "readily achievable" (that's the standard for nonprofit organizations and businesses) or if necessary to ensure "program access" (that's the standard for states and municipalities).


The New England ADA Center has created ADA recreation checklists to assist with compliance efforts. View the checklists online.
Spring Landscape in New England
Stories from Around New England 

New Britain, CT Veteran's Memorial Stadium
New Britain, CT Veteran's Memorial Stadium

New Britain, Connecticut Receives Access Training

Municipal Training Event to Improve Access


The town of New Britain is the 2012 Field Based Training Day Awardee for Connecticut. The focus of the training will be the Veterans Memorial Stadium which is
the City's general purpose stadium facility.

Veterans Memorial Stadium is multifunctional, and used for the purposes of the New Britain High School's football, soccer, track and field and girls "Powder Puff" football teams. It is also used by the musical band, "Canettes" cheerleading and ROTC, for physical education classes, and high school graduation ceremonies.  

Additionally the stadium hosts CIAC soccer, United States Track and Field Association events, United States Scholastic Band Association competitions, New England Revolution MLS soccer, Boston Breakers WPS soccer, International Soccer, Central Connecticut State University men's and women's soccer, track and field meets and for statewide Hershey Track and Field competitions.

A key objective is to motivate other city department heads to learn from the training process and thereby assist with the evaluation and improvement of the city-owned properties that they oversee.  
Lisbon, New Hampshire Town Hall
Lisbon, New Hampshire Town Hall

Lisbon, New Hampshire Receives Access Training Award    

Municipal Training Event to Improve Access


The town of Lisbon is the 2012 Field Based Training Day Awardee for New Hampshire. The focus of the training will be the Lisbon Town Hall. The building was designed by A. I. Lawrence of Berlin, NH, and was built in 1904 as a combination Opera House, Town Office, and Municipal Court. It contains three levels, and totals about 10,000 square feet.


The Town Hall currently houses multiple town departments including the Selectmen's Office, the Town Clerk and Tax Collector's Office, the Police Department, the Fire Department, and the EMS Life Squad. The auditorium in the town hall is actively used throughout the year for theatrical performances, music concerts, civic events, and youth basketball.

Pawtucket City Hall
Pawtucket City Hall


Pawtucket, Rhode Island Receives Access Training Award    

Municipal Training Event to Improve Access


The town of Pawtucket is the 2012 Field Based Training Day Awardee for Rhode Island. The focus of the training will be the Town Hall.     

Access to City Hall is predominantly by automobile, though some visitors to the building use public transportation. The front of City Hall is not accessible. There is parking at a municipal lot that is also used by the general public and there are handicapped parking spaces in multiple locations. The site was built in 1933 and added to the National Historic Register in 1983.

Municipal Pool in Bethel, Vermont
Municipal pool in Bethel, VT. Photo credit: Town of Bethel


Bethel, Vermont Receives Access Training Award    

Municipal Training Event to Improve Access


The Vermont Center for Independent Living announced that the town of Bethel is the New England ADA Center's Field Based Training Day Awardee for Vermont for 2012.

This annual training opportunity will focus on Bethel's recreation facility which includes the town pool, playground, and tennis courts. These facilities were built in the 1970s and require many changes to come into compliance with the American's with Disabilities Act. New building standards for ADA compliance have recently been adopted, and as of March 15, 2012, pools and play areas are required to provide specific access elements like pool lifts and play element transfer areas.
Seal of the City of MIddletown ConnecticutConnecticut Attorneys and Advocates for People with Disabilities File an Office of Civil Rights Complaint Against Middletown Public Schools Stopping Use of "Scream Rooms"

Story from Education Advocacy, LLC 

In early January, a group of nineteen attorneys and advocates for people with disabilities announced that they had filed a formal complaint with the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights against the Middletown Public Schools.  

The use of"scream rooms" at the Farm Hill School as described in the complaint was stopped, but fallout continued.  


On January 30th, Farm Hill Principal Patricia Girard took an indefinite leave of absence. On March 9, Dr. Michael Frechette, Superintendent of Schools in Middletown, resigned. 


Read the full story from Education Advocacy, LLC 

New Hampshire State SealNew Hampshire Governor's Commission on Disability Working On Emergency Preparedness 

Story from Jillian Shedd,Accessibility Specialist, State of New Hampshire Governor's Commission on Disabilities  

 The NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Emergency Services Unit and statewide collaborators are working closely together to establish a comprehensive community preparedness process that includes the use of the newly developed state-wide Emergency Assistance Registry. Governor Commission Disability-staff person is part of the planning collaborators.


This emergency preparedness and registry are addressing the functional needs of NH citizens with disability; The Commissioners from GCD are committed to the goals, the implementation process and distribution of information to our NH citizens about the emergency preparedness and registry. The collaborating agencies and organizations goal and objectives are:


Goal: Enhance the emergency preparedness skills of underserved populations in New Hampshire, including people with functional and medical access needs, by implementing training for community sector partners and offering a voluntary statewide Emergency Assistance Registry.


Objective: Provide emergency preparedness training to community sector partners working with underserved populations in New Hampshire. Objective: Collaborate with community sector partners to develop and deliver emergency preparedness messaging to underserved populations in New Hampshire, including information on the Emergency Assistance Registry.


The planning process is almost completed with a target implementation date to start in June 2012. We anticipate a 1 year implementation phase before each city and town in NH been trained has an updated preparedness plan and has citizens with functional needs signed on to the state registry. With a second year follow up training and support for the 15 Public Health Networks and their local service organization/EMS providers to ensure ongoing continuation at the local level. You can contact the Governor's Commission at 1-800-852-3405 if you like more information on New Hampshire process.

Valerie Fletcher
IHCD Exective Director Valerie Fletcher.
Marie Feltin Award Presented by the Boston Center for Independent Living

Story by Willa Crolius, IHCD Coordinator of Public Programs and the User-Expert Lab. 

 On Friday night March 16th, Valerie Fletcher, Elmer Bartels and Stan Eichner were awarded the 16th annual Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL) Marie Feltin Award. It was a brilliant evening filled with hope, laughter, and bright imaginings for a future of inclusion and equality for all people. The Institute for Human Centered Design would like to thank the BCIL for hosting the event, and for honoring the memory of Dr. Marie Feltin who's tireless focus on vulnerable populations is still being felt today.

State of Maine Offficial Seal

Maine State Workshop Reviews the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design 

Story from the Maine Department of Labor - Maine Government News

Over 150 people attended a day-long workshop in Augusta, Maine providing information and guidance on how to comply with new design and construction standards under the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). "We know that there is a lot of concern in the business community about the extent of these new federal regulations," said Eric Dibner, State ADA Coordinator at the Maine Department of Labor. "Although the changes to the standards were imposed by the Federal Government, we felt it was important for the state to take an active role in helping businesses and other government agencies navigate the new regulations." 

Event cosponsors included the Maine State Fire Marshall's Office, Alpha One, the Maine Human Rights Commission, AIA Maine, the Maine Accessibility Coordinators office, Department of Labor, Bureau of Rehabilitation Services and the New England ADA Center. Read the full story.

Twitter Follow Me Graphic
March's Most Popular Stories from the @NewEngalndADA
Twitter Feed

Steven Bassett, IHCD's Accessible ICT Specialist and Social Media Coordinator, has compiled a list of March's most popular stories from the New England ADA Center's Twitter feed. Click on the links below to learn more!

1. Immediate 60-day Extension of Compliance Date for Existing Pools 

2. "ADA standards call recreation areas into focus"  "New revisions to the Americans with Disabilities Act are bringing hotel recreational areas under the watchful eye of the U.S. Department of Justice for the first time. And unlike other guidelines covered by the 1991 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, recreation areas do not qualify for safe harbor."

3. Easy iPhone Interface For People With Motor/ Cognitive Deficits  #a11y

Unus Tactus iOS Screenshot
Unus Tactus iOS screenshot of an application designed to have a user interface developed for people with motor and cognitive disabilites.
4. Free Webinar 04/05 - Accessibility Standards: "The Basics"  

Laptop Computer Displaying US Access Board Logo
Laptop computer displaying US Access Board logo.

5. "A Guide for Including People with Disabilities in Disaster Preparedness Planning" from the state of Connecticut 

Road closed sign blocking a rural road in Maine.
Road closed sign blocking rural road in Maine.
U S Falg
Stories from Other States 

Department of Justice Seal  Department of Justice Extends Compliance Date for Swimming Pools and Spas As a result of pressure by the American Hotel & Lodging Association(AH&LA)

The Department of Justice issued a rule on March 15 extending the date for compliance with accessible entry and exit to existing swimming pools, wading pools, and spas for 60 days.


The Department also issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking public comment on whether a longer period of time was needed for pool owners to meet their compliance obligations. The NPRM proposes a 180-day extension of the deadline. Comments on the NPRM will be accepted until March 30. AH&LA built a Congressional bi-partisan group of over 120 Senators and Representatives that reached out to the Department of Justice on behalf of the lodging industry.


For more information and to read the rules go to
 Seal of the President of the United StatesImplementing Section 508: Improving Access to Government Information and Data for Persons with Disabilities


The administration posted a strategy document on section 508 implementation.  This follows on a July 2011 announcement that the administration would be developing a strategic plan for Section 508. To support development of the plan, senior officials and staff from across the Executive Office of the President have met with advocacy groups, Section 508 coordinators, the CIOC Accessibility Committee, the Access Board, the General Services Administration, and other key stakeholders inside and outside the government.  The administration has taken the information from the listening sessions  as well as all the input received through various stakeholder meetings and pulled together a framework for the next phase in the administration's efforts to improve Section 508 management.


Before proceeding further with development of the strategic plan, the administration is seeking input and expertise through a strategy document that was posted today on It includes high level objectives, initiatives, focus areas, and potential measures. Comment is sought on what has been proposed, but also on suggestions for broad management strategies, tactics, and actions that can ultimately help Federal agencies better comply with Section 508. Read more about this initiative on the Office of Public Engagement web site.  

The Leadership Conference Logo Miller Amendment Called a Significant Step in the Right Direction in Updating the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)    


Story from the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights    


A coalition of 31 groups from the civil rights, disability, business, and education communities released a statement regarding Ranking Member George Miller's amendment to Chairman John Kline's Student Success Act, which would amend and reauthorize Title I and other parts of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), calling the amendment, "A significant step in the right direction." The coalition went on to state that, "...the amendment envisions an innovative ESEA accountability system that allows states and districts to implement interventions that benefit students, but does not absolve states and districts of their responsibilities to fully serve all children." Read the full press release.

ADA National Network Logo A New ADA Accessible Parking Fact Sheet is Available     


A fact sheet is available that covers new accessible parking provisions in ADA regulations. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued new regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 2010. The new rules affect state and local governments (Title II of the ADA), as well as public accommodations and commercial facilities (Title III). The regulations include the new 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, outlining minimum accessibility requirements for buildings and facilities. Read the fact sheet. 

EEOC Logo Guide for Employing Veterans Released


Story from the Employer Assistance and Resource Network, a service of the National Employer Technical Assistance Center.


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued revised publications addressing veterans with disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Guide for Employers  explains how protections for veterans with service-connected disabilities differ under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), and how employers can prevent disability-based discrimination and provide reasonable accommodations. Read more at the EEOC web site.  


ADA National Network Logo

The New England ADA Center is a member of the ADA National Network funded by US Department of Education through National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation and Research Grant # H133A110028.