For people with disabilities, travel and outdoor recreation is rewarding but can also be challenging.
While families with disabled members know that RVing affords the most comfortable and unrestrictive travel experience, finding campgrounds and facilities that meet or exceed federal accessibility standards can be hit and miss—until now.
RVing Accessibility Group, founded in 2011, announces that the organization is expanding its services from providing accurate campground accessibility information, education, and resources to the disabled RVing community to include helping campgrounds improve accessibility through assessment and consulting services.
“The genesis of RVing Accessibility Group (RVAG),” said founder and chairman of the board Mark Douglass, “stemmed from too many bad experiences making reservations with and staying at campgrounds claiming ADA accessibility and compliance only to find out upon arrival that they were not.”
For Douglass, a disabled 20-year RV enthusiast, and his wife, Ellie, providing other disabled RV enthusiasts with accurate information on campground accessibility became paramount after his wheelchair got stuck in gravel at an alleged compliant, but unpaved, campground.
Douglass was on a mission. He amassed a board of directors and, together, they created RVing Accessibilities Group. Initially designed to educate and inform disabled travelers with first-hand assessments of campgrounds across the country found to be ADA compliant and truly accessible to guests.
During the course of 2012, however, Douglass was asked to help educate campground and park owners on accessibility. Trained in the area of outdoor recreation accessibility and an Accessibility Specialist, Douglass and the organization expanded RVAG’s scope to include working with campground, park owners, and camping organizations on meeting accessibility standards relative to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the 1968 Architectural Barriers Act, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Companies utilizing RVAG’s services include the Good Sam Club, Coast to Coast Resorts, Alliance Coach, Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), Kentucky Exposition Center, Navajo State Park, as well as numerous independent campground and RV park owners, including various franchised KOA campgrounds.
More recently, Mark Douglass, President and CEO of RVAG, was nominated as 2012 RVer of the Year by Good Sam Enterprises for his work in raising the awareness for outdoor recreation accessibility for people with disabilities.
ADA Checklist for Readily Achievable Barrier Removal
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires public accommodations (businesses and non-profit organizations) to provide goods and services to people with disabilities on an equal basis with the rest of the public. Businesses and non-profit organizations that serve the public are to remove architectural barriers when it is “readily achievable” to do so.
This checklist is based on the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. It updates 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.
Businesses and non-profit organizations removing barriers before March 15, 2012 have the choice of using either the 1991 Standards or the 2010 Standards. Businesses and non-profit organizations removing barriers on or after March 15, 2012 must use the 2010 Standards.
RVing Accessibility Group, Inc. (RVAG)
Address: P.O. Box 5577, Pagosa Springs, Colorado 81147
Phone: (970) 903-7442
Security is mostly a superstition.
It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.