Thesis

Outdoor recreation opportunity barriers for individuals with disabilities and non-motorized boating on California waterways

This mixed methods study was designed to investigate the barriers to participation for individuals with disabilities with regards to non-motorized boating on California waterways. Barriers regarding accessibility were researched and data were analyzed from a sample of 1,746 self-administered online survey respondents. Reported barriers to participation for individuals with disabilities from the perspective of individuals with and without disabilities included: accessible parking, accessible docks, cost, accessible trails, lack of published information about accessibility, accessible restrooms and/ or concessions, adaptive rental equipment, staff knowledge regarding disabilities, program availability, transportation, unclear signage, effective communication from on-site staff, and accessible boat ramps. Data were collected from both the perspectives of individuals with and without disabilities in order to gain a variety of perspectives regarding barriers to accessibility. Individuals with disabilities participating in non-motorized boating on California waterways do experience many barriers to participation, and the data from this study may be utilized by practitioners in order to provide more inclusive opportunities for individuals of all abilities.

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