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The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110, Portland, OR 97204

July: Accessible Recreation

This month, we share tips for accessible outdoor events and explore local recreation opportunities.

Two people playing wheelchair rugby. One is holding the ball and has their chair balanced on the footrest of the second player. They have intense looks on their face and may be shouting.           

* Two people playing wheelchair rugby. One is holding the ball and has their chair balanced on the footrest of the second player. They have intense looks on their face and may be shouting.*

With Summer upon us, now is a great time to explore accessible recreation and share tips to make our summer events more accessible.

Access is not one-size-fits-all

Types of accessible recreation run the gamut from high-intensity sports like skiing and zip lining to a low-key trip to the playground or park.

There are different kinds of accessibility. A movie-in-the-park that on a flat, firm surface accessible to wheelchair users will not be accessible to Deaf people if there are no interpreters. Creating accessible recreation means making sure each part of the recreation, whether it’s an activity, an event, or a natural environment, can be experienced in a variety of ways.

Spotting accessible recreation

Ways to create access

  1. Add ways for people to experience an event:
  • audio description for performances and other visual information
  • captions, interpreters, text, or lights to convey sound, like printed announcements or interpreted music
  • quiet and lively activities and space
  • multiple ways to move to and through a space, especially one on a firm, stable, slip-resistant surface (like pavement, access mats, or packed stone)
  • indoor and outdoor options, including options for very hot, cold, or rainy days. And shade!

2. Offer a wide range of equipment for activities, including adaptive equipment

3. Check  ADA and Oregon requirements for accessible events

4. Cover the basics. Accessible websites, parking, restrooms (porta-potties), pathways, AND contact people ready to communicate in a variety of ways and take accommodation requests

5. Advertise access. Include access info on your marketing materials and an access statement letting people know how to request accommodations

Access in PDX

Looking for local summer fun?

First, if there’s an activity or an event you want to go to, remember that everyone has right to request disability and cultural accommodations (changes in policy, procedure, and practices) from any place serving the public. This applies to places organizing activities and events, too! Events for everyone are events for disabled people, too.

Want to check out a place that specifically considers and promotes access? Try these:

No exhaustive lists here. Let’s find summer adventures in all kinds of places!

Hidden Gems

Did you miss any hidden gems in this Month’s Access Tip? Find tantalizing hints below.

  1. A wheelchair user zips through the treetops in this awesome video.
  2. Adorable kids play in the mud in this innovative playground.
  3. Learn about beach access mats by scrolling down to this cute cartoon.
  4. Watch Paralympic and not-so-Paralympic skiers hit the slopes in our own Northwest backyard.

Have a fantastic summer!