Friday, February 25, 2011

Utah works to make state’s scenic wonders more accessible to people with disabilities

From The Salt Lake Tribune:

The Utah Office of Tourism is trying to make the state’s scenic wonders more accessible to people with disabilities.

“We want travelers of all ability levels to have the best planning information available to them,” said Tourism Office Managing Director Leigh von der Esch of the publication “Accessible Utah One-Sheet Guide.” This is the 19th “one sheeter” created by the office to highlight things that might appeal to potential tourists, from dinosaur and Olympic legacy sites to destination spas and renewable energy projects.

The one sheeters are available at state and local welcome centers and on the Tourism Office’s website,

The accessibility one sheeter includes information about services such as car rental, the location of campsites and trails compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and accessibility options at state and national parks. It also identifies Utah nonprofit organizations that provide adaptive recreation adventures, including skiing programs, for people with disabilities.

“Our national parks are some of the most accessible in the nation,” said von der Esch. “Combine that with world-class facilities like the National Ability Center [in Park City], the state’s wonderful outfitters and nonprofit organizations, and you see how interest in adaptive recreation and sports has been building since the 2002 Winter Paralympics.”

The effort is appreciated, said John Librett, executive director of Splore, a nonprofit that has provided outdoor recreation opportunities for the disabled since 1977.

“Our goal is to establish Utah as a recognized world-class recreation destination,” he said in a news release. “Partnering with the Utah Office of Tourism, to recognize dozens of tour operators and recreation venues available to serve the global adaptive recreation community, is a major step to achieving this goal.”