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Leisure Access Services MISSION STATEMENT & GOALSTo increase the use of the Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation Department's system of park and recreation areas, facilities, and programs by individuals with disabilities through innovative and proactive approaches which are responsive to a wide range of human needs and abilities.GOAL # 1Provide physical accessibility for park and recreation areas, facilities, and attractions through all means practical which are in compliance with or will exceed local, state, and federal standards.OBJECTIVES:Provide research, planning, and design which is sensitive to the needs of people with disabilities.Provide for the review of all design plans by the Miami-Dade County Building and Zoning Department's accessibility code specialists.Remove architectural barriers in existing parks and recreational facilities.Ensure compliance of all contractual conditions by concessionaires, lessees, licensees, and permittees for accessibility. GOAL # 2Provide equal opportunity for recreation programs.OBJECTIVES:Ensure that special events and activities are accessible.Create programs which meet the needs of people with diverse functional abilities.Ensure that programs are equitably distributed throughout Miami-Dade County.Continually improve the quality of programs available, as measured by participant satisfaction.Provide auxiliary aids and services as needed. Integrate people with disabilities into standard departmental programs as appropriate.Lower program cost to participants wherever feasible.GOAL # 3Ensure that department staff are aware of, and responsive to, the needs of people with disabilities.OBJECTIVES:Actively seek and hire people with disabilities.Provide continual in-service training to employees.Utilize participant feedback such as "program shoppers", intercept interviews, and telephone calls.Regularly distribute resource information to staff.Utilize a formal process for handling and reconciling complaints from people with disabilities.GOAL # 4Increase the awareness of people with disabilities of the availability of community recreation opportunities.OBJECTIVES:Communicate public information through "user friendly" media.Network with community organizations and professionals which serve people with disabilities.Increase the department's credibility as a community information resource.Cross-market program opportunities throughout the community.GOAL # 5Monitor and annually evaluate the degree to which the department's Leisure Access initiative is being fulfilled.OBJECTIVES:Review and evaluate complaints and their resolutions.Review and evaluate all consumer proposals for new and improved programs and facilities.Review results of participant feedback program.Review, evaluate and modify goals and objectives as needed. mission/ada/barrier
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY PARK & RECREATION DEPARTMENT'S SERVICES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES. The section of the Park and Recreation Department that provides services to persons with disabilities is called LEISURE ACCESS. This service makes sure that all areas of the Department comply with current access law. Providing training programs for employees, removing architectural barriers in park facilities, running sports and recreation programs exclusively for persons with disabilities and coordinating mainstreaming efforts are ways in which the Department strives to make sure citizens with disabilities have access to our magnificent park system. Training programs for employees enable them to more effectively meet the needs of children with disabilities mainstreamed into their programs. Over the last several summers more and more children with disabilities participate in summer camps that have traditionally served mostly nondisabled children. Staff who have little experience with disability are given the opportunity to ask questions, experiment with adapted equipment and become more sensitive to these children's needs during training programs. Staff serving disabled children in a traditionally nondisabled setting must learn to coordinate wheelchair accessible transportation, deal with sign language interpreters and appropriately address the questions and concerns of nondisabled children in their camps. It is an exciting challenge that program staff enjoy every summer.The Department's architectural barrier removal program has catalogued and prioritized all of the access needs of the system and is constantly implementing construction projects, often with the County's Office of ADA Coordination, which may fund and review these projects. Typical access projects include providing lifts and ramps in swimming pools, walkways throughout green spaces, alteration of restrooms, accessible elements to playgrounds and making sure tennis courts, nature walks, baseball dugouts and beaches are useable to visitors who are disabled. New construction projects are reviewed for compliance with access code prior to being initiated.Programming for persons with disabilities is one of the most exciting elements of Leisure Access Services. Three Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists serve north, central and south Miami-Dade County. Fitness programs for persons who are blind, waterski and tennis clinics for persons who use wheelchairs and social programs for developmentally disabled are just some of the programs offered. Water exercise and swimming lessons for all disabilities take place year-round at heated and accessible pools. Mainstreaming, or involving disabled persons in programs typically only offered to nondisabled, is another aspect of the Leisure Access section. Recreation Therapists work with park staff and parents of disabled children to seek out the most accessible setting, coordinate any needed training and provide accommodations. Transportation, adapted recreation equipment, sign language interpreters are some of the accommodations frequently provided. Everyone benefits from the presence of persons with disabilities in programs.If you need access information on the Miami-Dade County Park & Recreation Department, call us at 305-755-7848(v/tdd) or visit our web site at www.co.miami-dade.fl.us/parks.
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