National Center on Accessibility

Address: 501 North Morton St, Suite 109
Bloomington, IN 47404
Phone: (812) 856-4422 Fax: (812) 8564480 Email: Website:

"The National Center on Accessibility promotes access and inclusion for people with disabilities in parks, recreation and tourism.  Based at Indiana University and established in 1992 through a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service, NCA has emerged as a leading authority on access issues unique to park and recreation programs and facilities.

At NCA, we believe that the principles of universal design and inclusion are important factors for achieving personal wellness and building healthy communities. Among people with disabilities, recreation and active leisure pursuits are vital for rehabilitation from illness or injury, prevention of disease, longevity and improved quality of life.  NCA is a major contributor to the study of disability and inclusion in the life sciences.  NCA focuses on universal design and practical accessibility solutions creating inclusive recreation opportunities for people of all abilities. NCA links the preferences and needs of people with disabilities to those of practitioners designing facilities and planning programs. Since 1992, thousands of professionals such as park superintendents, facility managers, architects and landscape architects, program coordinators, civil engineers, planners, interpreters and exhibit designers, accessibility coordinators, advocates and consumers have drawn on NCA as a valued resource; and as a result, they have been able to affect change within their parks, facilities and communities.

NCA Research  –.  NCA Research shapes the development of policy and accessibility standards nationally.  NCA has partnered with researchers from the universities of Minnesota, Utah, Georgia, Clemson and Tennessee to discover the needs and preferences of people with disabilities. 

Initiatives have included:

    Study of swimming pool operations and user preferences for accessing swimming pools for the U.S. Access Board resulting in the development of accessibility guidelines for pools;
    Best practices in accessibility to parks and recreation;
    Performance of assistive mobility devices and temporary surfaces for beach access;
    Analysis of major barriers associated with including people with disabilities in the game of golf;
    Determination of the effectiveness of surface treatments to create accessible trails;
    Comparison of the functional aspects of accessible picnic elements;
    Activity review of people with disabilities in the National Survey of Recreation and the Environment;
    Inquiry to visitor expectations and perceptions in outdoor developed areas;
    Analysis of reservation and accessibility use policies for campgrounds; and
    Assessment of ticket policies for performing arts venues and sports arenas.


NCA is available to provide consultation to your agency with the goal of improving access for visitors and participants with disabilities. Various levels of consultation are available based on your agency needs and desired outcomes, including:

    On-site Consultation and Facility Walk-Thru
    Physical, Program and Operational Accessibility Assessments
    Project Concept Development and Planning

Contact NCA to customize a consultation plan for your agency.
NCA Clients & Partners

    National Park Service
    U.S. Access Board
    U.S. Department of Justice
    U.S. Forest Service
    U.S. Bureau of Land Management
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    NCPAD-University of Illinois at Chicago
    Indiana Department of Natural Resources
    National Alliance for Accessible Golf
    Arlington Heights (IL) Park District
    U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
    Buffalo Grove (IL) Park District
    Indy Parks and Recreation
    New York Department of Environmental Conservation
    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
    Forest Preserve District of Will County (IL)

TTY: (812) 856-4421

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