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Disabled Americans Get Long Awaited RVing Advocate
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, announced today 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 the 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.
To learn more, visit www.rvingaccessibility.org