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DiNapoli: State Parks Need to Improve Accessibility


State Parks and Historic Sites need to do more to accommodate those with disabilities – that’s from a report by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

After touring 40 parks and 11 historic sites across the state, including Sampson State Park, Allan H Treman State Park, Buttermilk Falls, and Taughannock Falls, the Comptroller’s Office says the state’s Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation has not done enough to improve park accessibility, despite developing a plan to do so.

The report also acknowledged that accessibility information at parks could be improved, noting “a total of 97 instances where the agency’s website and/or accessibility signage at parks contained seemingly erroneous information.” This includes a lack of wheelchair-accessible stalls restroom entrances, or access routes.

Though presenting unique challenges, the Office points out that Preservation Office officials were generally committed to improving handicap accessibility when possible.

The Comptroller’s Office recommends Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation do the following:

  • Develop processes to actively incorporate accessibility into the operation and maintenance of parks, which may include but not be limited to:
    • Communicating and training park staff on ADA requirements;
    • Monitoring new construction and alteration projects to ensure compliance with the Standards;
    • Developing procedures for recording and addressing accessibility complaints; and
    • Assessing potential barriers to accessibility and, to the extent feasible, addressing the newly identified potential improvement areas as well as the barriers identified in the Plan.
  • Improve the accuracy of publicly reported information on accessibility – communicated both online and through signage at parks.

You can read the full report on the Comptroller’s website.


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