Rec and Park Celebrates 20th Anniversary of ADA

Sunday, July 25, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO— The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department joins the City’s celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), highlighted by an event on Monday, July 26, 2010, at noon, at City Hall, hosted by the Mayor’s Office on Disability and the Independent Living Resource Center San Francisco.

The ADA was signed into law on July 26, 1990, and works to protect the rights of people with disabilities. Title II of the ADA covers programs, activities and services of public entities.

“The Recreation and Park Department touches the lives of so many people, from the people who visit our parks to the children, adults and seniors who depend on our programs on a daily basis,” said general manager Phil Ginsburg. “We are proud of our history of serving people of all abilities and are honored to help celebrate this important milestone.”

One year ago this month, the Recreation and Park Department reopened St. Mary’s Playground in District 9 after a $3.1 million renovation project that transformed the old site into the city’s most inclusive playground, replete with a series of fantasy-inspiring decks, bridges and slides designed to accommodate children with physical, developmental and emotional disabilities.

Since its Capital Improvement Division was formed in 2000, the Recreation and Park Department has completed nearly 170 capital projects that involve an ADA improvement or feature. All of the Department’s current and completed projects under the 2000 and 2008 parks bonds are ADA-compliant.

The Recreation and Park Department also has been providing program services and special events to the disabled community for almost 30 years. In the 1980s, the department adopted a fledgling community program for children who were Deaf/hard of hearing and Blind/visually impaired; today, Project Insight is one of the department’s most popular and successful programs, serving youth, teens, young adults and seniors.

The Department has also recently restructured its recreation delivery model and has incorporated an Inclusion Coordinator, who will ensure that people of all abilities have access to department programs and that the community’s preferences for specific programs are heard.

New inclusion training modules are also being created for Recreation and Park Department staff.

Monday’s event will be held at City Hall’s North Light Court and will include brief remarks by elected officials, a Disability Pride Quilt, displays, workshops and refreshments.