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The National Park Service Wants Your Help To Make The Santa Monica Mountains More Accessible

A man dressed in a white shirt, black pants and using his hands to shade his eyes stands at the top of a grassy hill in the midst of the Santa Monica Mountains.
A man takes in the view as new vegetation sprouts in the Santa Monica Mountains, on Feb. 25, 2019 near Malibu, California.
(Mario Tama
Getty Images)
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The National Park Service wants to make the lush Santa Monica Mountains more accessible for disabled communities, and it's looking for the public's input on how to do that.

What the service needs: The National Park Service needs help to identify "existing park barriers to accessibility for people with disabilities" and methods for creating accessible infrastructure in the park. It's put together a draft plan than includes items such as updating signage to describe potential obstacles, graphics showing slope conditions, and the incorporation of sign-language interpreters for specific events.

Why now: The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is one of the nation's largest urban national parks, and it has had issues with unstable surfaces, high slopes, and unclear signage.

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The backstory: Government legislation, like the 1968 Architectural Barriers Act and the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, require that facilities and buildings created through federal dollars be accessible to communities with disabilities. Regardless of legislation, lack of funding and recognization of disabled communities have left national parks around the U.S. inaccessible for many patrons.

What's next: The public can leave their comments on the draft of the park's transition plan for accessibility, which can be accessed here. The public can add their input about the park until March 30, 2023.

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