Let’s meet up!

I’ll be speaking in various locations across the country in the next few months.  Let me know if you want to connect for a cup of coffee/tea if I’m in your neighborhood.

Karen will be presenting at the following conferences:

Dwell on Design 2014, Los Angelos, CA – June 21, 2014

AIA National Convention 2014, Chicago, IL – June 27, 2014 – FR 304 “Why Are ADA Compliant Toilet, Bathing, Dressing and Locker Rooms So Tricky?”

ABX 2014, Boston, MA – October 28, 2014

New Resources for Planning Accessible Travel

Karen in London, UK

Thanks to websites, apps and twitter, it is easier to find information on accessible travel options. Everyone from nonprofits and public agencies to cities and individuals seems to be setting up websites, developing apps and tweeting about travel. It’s all for good!

A lot of this information is “crowd sourced” meaning that the content comes from people that share their knowledge of specific places. This may raise questions about the reliability of the information, but I believe that people with disabilities are sharing their experiences to help others.

To learn more, read my November 2012 Newsletter on Travel. Following are a few notable websites, apps and twitter feeds:

Planat.com is an online ratings tool that allows users to post and search reviews from a mobility, sight or hearing perspective on the accessibility of buildings and public spaces around the world

Disabilityhorizons.com/travelzone/ provides country-by-country information on travel from Australia to Turkey.

Barrierfreetravels.com is edited by Candy Harrington the author of 22 Accessible Road Trips, Barrier Free Travel and 101 Accessible Vacations.

CitiRoller.com is a free app developed by Papa Products LLC, in partnership with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

AbilityTrip.com is an app that features popular destinations around the globe by local writer. Comes preloaded with Chicago with additional cities for $2.49.

@AccessAnything Craig Kennedy tweets about adventure travel for people with disabilities.

@WheelchairTrav features tips on accommodations, attractions, activities and transportation.

@TravelinWheels provides in-depth information on accessibility for travelers worldwide.

On the Road: Can you plug in?

I have high hopes of driving an electric ramped Van in the future. (Isn’t this cute?)

Pedestal mounted electric recharging stations

Pedestal mounted electric recharging stations

I am the classic around-town driver, just right for an electric vehicle. I was greatly disappointed to see this recent photo of a new electric car recharging station at a parking lot. Our new infrastructure isn’t being build with those of us with disabilities in mind. I noted at least three physical barriers to being able to plug an electric car into these recharging stations if you use a mobility device.

  • The station is located behind the wheelstop with no accessible route the end of the car.
  • The station is mounted on a pedestal that is raised on a curb greater than 10″ from the face of the curb.
  • The controls for operating the station are greater than 48″ off the surface of the parking area.

Can you see any others?

Here’s an interpretation by the Hawaii Disability and Communication Access Board.  It makes a great basis for design for charging stations.

New Interpretive Opinion on Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations

The Disability and Communication Access Board has just issued a new interpretive opinion covering electric vehicle parking stalls and charging stations.  The interpretive opinion applies to all projects covered by HRS §103-50 and is consistent with the design recommendations from the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT).

ADAAG Section 309 Operable Parts and 502 Parking SpacesWhere EV charging stations are provided, 5%, but not less than one of each type of EV stations shall be accessible.

An accessible parking stall at an EV charging station shall be 192 inches wide minimum.  The parking stalls at accessible EV charging stations shall comply with ADAAG Section 302; changes in level are not permitted.  Slopes within the accessible stalls shall not exceed 1:48 in any direction.  Parking spaces shall be designed so that cars, when parked, cannot obstruct the required clear width of adjacent accessible routes.

The EV charging equipment shall comply with ADAAG 309 operable parts.  Turning space complying with ADAAG 304.3 shall be provided at the EV charging equipment.

An accessible route shall be provided from an accessible EV parking stall to the accessible EV charging equipment.  An accessible EV charging station shall connect to an accessible route and shall comply with ADAAG 206.2.2.  Accessible routes shall comply with ADAAG Chapter 4.

[Rul: 08/15/12] (Auth and Imp: HRS §103-50)

View a copy of the Interpretive Opinion: IO 2012-01 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
A copy of the Interpretive Opinion will soon be posted on the DCAB’s web site.  For questions related to the Interpretive Opinion, contact Mona Higa at 586-8121 or via e-mail at: mona.higa@doh.hawaii.gov.

Of course, those of us who drive and use mobility devices are also still just trying to assure access to gas for our vehicles.


Adventures in travel – Google Maps Street View

Sample Street View

Sample Street View

Sometimes I forget how wonderful the basic tools of the internet are – they give me just the information I need to venture out independently. Google Maps Street view is my go-to tool for planning my activities in the U.S. I was planning a trip to San Francisco the other day and wanted to know what the route would be between the BART stop and my final destination. Google Maps street view showed me where the address was, if the front of the building had steps, and if it appeared to have a steep slope. I could even see enough street corners between the BART stop and the address to feel confident I would have curb cuts along the way. I appreciate this little assistance in my business and leisure travel – one less worry to slow me down.

Sample curb view shows street corners

Sample curb view shows street corners