Accessibility is the design of products, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design and practice of accessible development ensures both "direct access" and "indirect access" meaning compatibility with a person's assistive technology. Accessibility can be viewed as the "ability to access" and benefit from some entity; the concept focuses on enabling access for people with disabilities, or special needs, or enabling access through the use of assistive technology. Accessibility is not to be confused with usability, the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness and satisfaction in a specified context of use. Accessibility is related to universal design, the process of creating products that are usable by people with the widest possible range of abilities, operating within the widest possible range of situations; this is about making things accessible to all people. The disability rights movement advocates equal access to social and economic life which includes not only physical access but access to the same tools, services and facilities for which everyone pays.
Article 9 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities commits signatories to provide for full accessibility in their countries. While it is used to describe facilities or amenities to assist people with handicap impaired mobility, through the provision of facilities like wheelchair ramps, the term can extend include other types of disability. Accessible facilities therefore extend to areas such as Braille signage, audio signals at pedestrian crossings, walkway contours, website design and reading accessibility. Government mandates including Section 508, WCAG, DDA are all enforcing practices to standardize accessibility testing engineering in product development. Accessibility modifications may be required to enable persons with disabilities to gain access to education, transportation, recreation, or simply to exercise their right to vote. Various countries have legislation requiring physical accessibility which are: In the US, under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, new public and private business construction must be accessible.
Existing private businesses are required to increase the accessibility of their facilities when making any other renovations in proportion to the cost of the other renovations. The United States Access Board is "A Federal Agency Committed to Accessible Design for People with Disabilities." The Job Accommodation Network discusses accommodations for people with disabilities in the workplace. Many states in the US have their own disability laws. In Australia, the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 has numerous provisions for accessibility. In South Africa the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 2000 has numerous provisions for accessibility. In the UK, the Equality Act 2010 has numerous provisions for accessibility. In Sri Lanka, the Supreme Court, on 27 April 2011 gave a landmark order to boost the inherent right of disabled persons to have unhindered access to public buildings and facilities. In Norway, the Discrimination and Accessibility Act Diskriminerings- og tilgjengelighetsloven defines lack of accessibility as discrimination and obliges public authorities to implement universal design in their areas.
The Act refers to issue-specific legislation regarding accessibility in e.g. ICT, the built environment and education. In Canada, relevant federal legislation includes the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Employment Equity Act, the Canadian Labour Code. Legislation may be enacted on a state, provincial or local level. In Ontario, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act of 2001 is meant to "improve the identification and prevention of barriers faced by persons with disabilities..." The European Union, which has signed the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has adopted a European Disability Strategy for 2010-20. The Strategy includes the following goals, among others: devising policies for inclusive, high-quality education. A European Accessibility Act was proposed in late 2012; this Act would establish standards within member countries for accessible products and public buildings. The harmonization of accessibility standards within the EU "would facilitate the social integration of persons with disabilities and the elderly and their mobility across member states, thereby fostering the free movement principle".
Assistive technology is the creation of a new device that assists a person in completing a task that would otherwise be impossible. Some examples include new computer software programs like screen readers, inventions such as assistive listening devices, including hearing aids, traffic lights with a standard color code that enables colorblind individuals to understand the correct signal. Adaptive technology is the modifica
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers in and around Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The park includes land in the Shenandoah Valley in West Virginia; the park is managed by the National Park Service, an agency of the U. S. Department of the Interior. Designated Harpers Ferry National Monument in 1944, the park was declared a National Historical Park by the U. S. Congress in 1963; the park includes the historic town of Harpers Ferry, notable as a center of 19th-century industry and as the scene of John Brown's failed abolitionist uprising. Consisting of 4,000 acres, it includes the site of which Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "The passage of the Potomac through the Blue Ridge is one of the most stupendous scenes in Nature" after visiting the area in 1783. Due to a mixture of historical events and ample recreational opportunities, all within 50 miles of Washington, D. C. the park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966.
The Park's Superintendent is presently Tyrone Brandyburg. The park was planned as a memorial to John Brown, responsible for what is by far the most famous incident in Harpers Ferry's history. "NPS officials in the 1930s focused on John Brown's Raid and the Civil War to justify acquiring parts of Harpers Ferry for a historical and military park." Like the figure of John Brown himself, this proved enormously controversial, with opposition from the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Today there is no mention of John Brown on the Park's home page, although the raid is covered in the history section of the website. Native American history in the region dates back to at least 8,000 years ago; the Tuscarora people were the last of the native peoples known to inhabit the area in large numbers vanishing in the early 18th century. One of these European immigrants, Robert Harper, obtained a patent for the land from the Virginia legislature in 1751. Note that prior to 1863, West Virginia was still a part of Virginia.
The town was known as Shenandoah Falls at Mr. Harper's Ferry due to the ferry business Robert Harper managed and operated. Today, the original house built by Robert Harper is the oldest remaining structure in the lower part of the park. George Washington visited the area during his trip to the rivers' confluence in 1785, searching for a waterway to ship goods westward. Washington began the construction of the federal Harpers Ferry Armory on the site, utilizing waterpower from the rivers for manufacturing purposes. Meriwether Lewis, under government contract, procured most of the weaponry and associated hardware that would be needed for the Lewis and Clark Expedition at the armory in Harpers Ferry. Blacksmiths built a collapsible iron boat frame for the expedition. Between the years 1820 to 1840, John H. Hall worked to perfect the manufacturing of interchangeable parts at the armory. Utilizing precision molds and jigs, this was one of the birthplaces of precision manufacturing so that armaments and related mechanical equipment could be standardized and parts would be interchangeable.
Subsequently, the development of the modern bullet to replace the round lead slug was achieved by James H. Burton and this improvement was adopted by the U. S. Army in 1855. Employing at times up to 400 workers, the armory produced over half a million muskets and rifles between 1801 and 1860. Abolitionist John Brown led an armed group in the capture of the armory in 1859. Brown had hoped he would be able to arm the slaves and lead them against U. S. forces in a rebellion to overthrow slavery. After his capture in the armory by a group of Marines, Brown was hanged, predicting in his last words that civil war was looming on the horizon, a prediction that came true less than two years later; the most important building remaining from John Brown's raid is the firehouse, now called John Brown's Fort, where he resisted the Marines. The American Civil War found Harpers Ferry right on the boundary between the Union and Confederate forces; the strategic position along this border and the valuable manufacturing base was a coveted strategic goal for both sides, but the South due to its lack of manufacturing centers.
The town exchanged hands no less than eight times during the course of the war. Union forces abandoned the town after the state of Virginia seceded from the Union, burning the armory and seizing 15,000 rifles. Colonel Thomas J. Jackson, who would become known as "Stonewall", secured the region for the Confederates a week and shipped most of the manufacturing implements south. Jackson spent the next two months preparing his troops and building fortifications, but was ordered to withdraw south and east to assist P. G. T. Beauregard at the First Battle of Bull Run. Union troops began to rebuild parts of the armory. Stonewall Jackson, now a major general, returned in September 1862 under orders from Robert E. Lee to retake the arsenal and to join Lee's army north in Maryland. Jackson's assault on the Federal forces there, during the Battle of Harpers Ferry led to the capitulation of 12,500 Union troops, the largest number of Union prisoners taken at one time during the war; the town exchanged hands several more times over the next two years.
Storer College was built in Harpers Ferry as one of the first integrated schools in the U. S. Frederick Douglass served as a trustee of the college, delivered a memorable oration on the subject of John Brown there in 1881. Subsequent rulings known as Jim Crow Laws led
Gauley River National Recreation Area
The Gauley River National Recreation Area, located near Summersville, West Virginia, protects a 25-mile portion of the Gauley River and a 5.5-mile segment of the Meadow River in southern West Virginia. Little of the park is accessible via roads. At the upstream end of the park is the Summersville Dam, the only area of the park accessible by vehicle. Within the park are a number of Class V rapids, they have been given names such as: Insignificant Pillow Rock Lost Paddle Iron Ring Sweet's Falls Official NPS Site Summersville Lake water levels and outflow
Beartown State Park
Beartown State Park is a 110-acre state park located on the eastern summit of Droop Mountain, 7 miles southwest of Hillsboro, West Virginia, in northern Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The land was purchased in 1970 with funds from the Nature Conservancy and a donation from Mrs. Edwin G. Polan, in memory of her son, Ronald Keith Neal, a local soldier, killed in the Vietnam War. Development of the park has been minimal. Recreation in the park consists of hiking along improved boardwalks. Markers explain the natural processes at work in the area; the name "Beartown State Park" was chosen because local residents claimed that many cave-like openings in the rocks made ideal winter dens for the native black bears, the state animal of West Virginia. Because the many deep, narrow crevasses were formed in a regular criss-cross pattern which appear from above like the streets of a small town. Beartown is noted for its unusual rock formations, which consist of Droop, or Pottsville, Sandstone formed during the Pennsylvanian age.
Massive boulders, overhanging cliffs and deep crevasses make up the beauty of the park. On the face of the cliffs are hundreds of eroded pits; these pits range from the size of a marble to others large enough to hold two grown men. It is not unusual to see snow remaining in the deeper crevasses until midsummer; the park is accessible via U. S. Highway 219, 7 miles southwest of Hillsboro, West Virginia and is close to Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park and Watoga State Park; the park is open daily from April to October. Access during the off-season is available by appointment. No fee is charged for admission to the park. Accessibility for the disabled was assessed by West Virginia University; the 2005 assessment found issues with the slipperiness of the boardwalk ramps and signage in the parking lot. List of West Virginia state parks Official website
Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area
Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area is a U. S. National Recreation Area located within the Monongahela National Forest of eastern West Virginia, USA; the National Recreation Area protects three prominent West Virginia landmarks: Spruce Knob, the highest point in West Virginia with a summit elevation of 4,863 feet. Seneca Rocks, a 900 foot high quartzite crag popular with rock climbers. Smoke Hole Canyon, a canyon along the South Branch Potomac River. Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks NRA was established by an act of the U. S. Congress on September 28, 1965 as the first National Recreation Area in a United States National Forest, it is therefore administered by the US Forest Service rather than the National Park Service, as are most other NRAs. Ketterman, West Virginia Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area official site