DEP Celebrates 25 Years of Providing Access for All in Florida State Parks

July 27, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection begins a year-long, statewide celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in Florida State Parks. Florida Governor Rick Scott recently proclaimed July 26 as ADA Awareness Day in Florida to honor the 25th anniversary of the groundbreaking law. Parks across the state are kicking off the celebration by displaying “Access for All” banners and posters, and staff who have completed accessibility training will proudly wear “Access for All” uniform pins.

While the ADA was enacted in 1990, the Florida Park Service has offered inclusive opportunities and services since its inception in 1935. A variety of accessible amenities such as fishing piers, boating tours, beach wheelchairs, campsites, boardwalks, canoe/kayak launches and swimming areas can be found throughout many of Florida’s state parks and trails.

“Florida’s state parks offer something for everybody,” said Florida Park Service Director Donald Forgione. “We are very proud to offer inclusive activities and accessible facilities that encourage visitors to experience the beauty of these parks.”

DEP’s Florida Park Service is highlighting accessible amenities at five state parks each month over the next year through social media.

Agency for Persons with Disabilities Director Barbara Palmer said, “We are excited about celebrating 25 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act. So many wonderful changes have occurred because of the ADA to help individuals with disabilities to be a part of the fabric of America. It is wonderful that Florida State Parks is highlighting five locations with accessible features which provide greater access to individuals with disabilities.”

Park visitors requesting accommodations can complete an Accommodation Request Form online or by phone. For additional information about “Access for All,” visit the Florida State Parks website, under the “Access for All” tab or call the statewide information line at 850-245-2157.

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