COVID-19 and the ADA: Guidance for Park and Recreation Agencies

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed the way recreation programs are delivered and park assets are used by the public. Terms like PPE, positivity rate, and asymptomatic have barged into the language used to plan programs, staff facilities, and maintain parks and facilities. Complicating how to approach this issue is the hands-off approach by the federal government, leaving it to the states to interpret guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and develop an approach that works. As a result, Oregon does it differently than New Jersey, and Texas does it differently than Illinois. There has been one constant: The requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are not overruled by any coronavirus restrictions adopted by a state, county or city. This session reviews CDC guidance, known ADA requirements for recreation programs, and applies these to four case studies. Attendees will leave with a toolkit to address the ADA/COVID-19 interface.


Learning Objectives
Following this session, learners will be able to:

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NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration. The learning content is available for registration for one year from the date of origination.

John McGovern

Partner, Principal in Charge

The WT Group, LLC Accessibility Practice

McGovern has spoken about access and inclusion at training events in 43 states. He is recognized nationally as the leading expert on the application of the ADA to public parks and recreation. McGovern is the President of Recreation Accessibility Consultants LLC (RAC), established in 2008. RAC is one of the companies under the umbrella of W-T Engineering, one of the premier engineering firms in Illinois. RAC advises local parks and recreation agencies, cities, counties, states, and private entities regarding compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act with regard to existing buildings and sites, new buildings and sites, and inclusive recreation support.

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