The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was adopted as law in 1990 to ensure equal access to all individuals without regard to needs related to disability. This comprehensive law focuses on a number of areas, including accessibility to and within public buildings and services.
If you encounter problems with a building's accessibility, you should first speak with the building owner or manager and explain your problem. They may have been unaware of any accessibility difficulties, and could make immediate changes for you. If the building manager or owner is unwilling to help, the next step is to get other people in the building to talk to the management. Local advocacy groups, such as Centers for Independent Living, may offer intermediary services or provide alternative resources for addressing problems. If you cannot achieve a resolution of the problem using these methods, you can file a complaint with the Department of Justice. For information about filing a complaint, call the ADA information line at 800-514-0301.
A problem might be as simple as a plant that was placed in front of the elevator buttons or within the clear passage of a hallway. It may be as complex as a multi-level building not serviced by an elevator or doorways that are too narrow for you to pass through.
The U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) provides technical assistance on the ADA Accessibility Guidelines. The Access Board can be reached at the following numbers:
- voice 800-872-2253
- TDD 800-993-2822
U.S. Department of Transportation
The ADA also addresses accessibility to transportation services. The United States Department of Transportation oversees this aspect of the ADA. They can be reached at the following numbers:
- Documents and questions
- voice 202-366-1656
- TDD 202-366-4567
- Legal questions
- voice 202-366-1936
- TDD use relay system
- Complaints and enforcement
- voice 202-366-2285
- TDD 202-366-0153
General ADA Information
You can reach the ADA Information Line to obtain ADA documents, ask questions, and obtain referrals at the following numbers:
- voice 800-514-0301
- TDD 800-514-0383
Special Seating: An Illustrated Guide – Revised Edition
New Edition – just published!
...join Jean Anne Zollars and seating experts worldwide in the step-by-step process of evaluation and design of seating/mobility systems for people with disabilities...
Click here (http://www.seatingzollars.com/) to visit the author’s website and order your book.
This book includes:
Specific directions in hands-on evaluation
Emphasis on hand simulation
More ideas using simulation with materials
Review of current best practices and research from seating experts worldwide
New design ideas, guidelines and fitting tips
A new chapter on seating and mobility considerations for people with specific conditions.
Updated assessment forms
Innovative ideas for less-resourced settings
PAX Press is a division of Beneficial Designs, Inc. that publishes information sheets, information packets, reports, books and videos related to Recreation Technologies, Seating and Mobility, and Environmental Accessibility.
Fax the completed order form to 775.783.0813.
Wheelchair Training Guides
For more specific information see our pages related to these specific books:
- Manual Wheelchair Training Guide
- Powered Wheelchair Training Guide
- A Guide to WC Selection
- Special Seating: An Illustrated Guide
Need for Training Guides
Many wheelchair users unnecessarily limit their activities to familiar environments because they have not learned the skills to access other areas independently. Many wheelchair accidents occur due to a lack of training. Instructional resources would help wheelchair users, their assistants, and clinicians learn safe and efficient wheelchair skills, as well as increase overall wheelchair user independence. Proper training can potentially decrease the frequency of wheelchair accidents and reduce instances of improper mobility assistance.
This project will create comprehensive wheelchair training guides that teach manual and powered wheelchair users how to access diverse environments safely. The two guides (one for powered and the other for manual wheelchairs) will provide new and experienced users and rehabilitation professionals with valuable reference materials.
Focus Group Input
In November 1994, Beneficial Designs began convening focus groups of manual wheelchair users, powered wheelchair users, and rehabilitation professionals. Each group was asked which topics and skills they felt the guides should include and how to accomplish or teach these techniques.
Training Guide Format
A format to present the information was developed from focus group comments. For each skill, the guides list a goal, the prerequisite skills, and describes step-by-step instructions. Lessons include how to accomplish the skill with a spotter, how to accomplish the skill alone, and how to instruct an assistant to help. Numerous illustrations were created to help demonstrate each skill.
Written in a friendly, easy-to-understand style, the guides cover wheelchair components and functions, basic maneuvering skills, navigating indoor and outdoor terrain, and special skills required for powered wheelchairs. In addition to specific techniques, the guides show wheelchair users how to judge the accessibility of specific environments, ask for help, and handle emergency situations.
Wheelchair Training Guides
The Manual Wheelchair Training Guide and The Powered Wheelchair Training Guide, written by Peter Axelson, Jean Minkel, Anita Perr and Denise Yamada, are available through PAX Press, a division of Beneficial Designs, Inc.
This project was funded by the Paralyzed Veterans of America Spinal Cord Injury Education and Training Foundation (contract #EFT 238-94), and Beneficial Designs, Inc.