Assuring the access to nature education and nature experience for impaired people
What does a good barrier-free nature experience offer? Where do you start with the planning? What specific information is needed and how is it communicated? We asked ourselves these and many other questions when we started the project in 2018. For almost three years, we researched, investigated and tested, always accompanied by people with disabilities as experts in their own field. Now the first answers are available. Until the end of the project in August, you can expect a lot of exciting information, guidelines and ideas.
What we transmit theoretically within the framework of this educational project is already bearing fruit. The first nature trails have been analysed using the decision matrix "Self-determined nature experience" and are developing their own concepts for a more inclusive access to nature experience. The matrix and the accompanying brochure "Self-determined nature experience: Towards barrier-free design of educational nature trails" are ready for download. For a quick insight into the topic, you can also use our Prezi presentation. Unfortunately, this tool is not accessible. You can download an accessible transcription on our website.
Annually, the European Day of Protest for Equality for People with Disabilities takes place on 5 May. On this occasion, we would like to present the interim results of the project to all interested parties and invite you to our online event. Find out more under "Dates".
Guideline “Self-determined nature experience: Towards barrier-free design of educational nature trails”
Everyone wants and should be able to experience nature independently. However, many environmental education centres, national parks, nature reserves and nature parks are faced with the question of how the infrastructure can be adapted through concrete measures. These and other issues are addressed in our new guide on self-determined nature experience.
The guideline includes an evaluation matrix explaining criteria for unguided nature experience according to different needs. Based on various national and European recommendations, criteria have been developed that can be used by nature conservation institutions to assess the possible adaptations for more accessibility at existing sites.
With the help of the guideline and the matrix, individual offers can be adapted promptly and pragmatically for individual user groups. The criteria concern the network of paths, the provision of information and the design of the stations along the path.
Barrier-free nature experience in Carinthia, Austria
Robert Heuberger is active for various nature parks in the canton of Carinthia, Austria. Since 2009, he has been a board member of Arge Naturerlebnis Kärnten, an association of 11 protected areas, 10 tourism regions and Kärnten Werbung. Arge Naturerlebnis develops and implements sustainable, innovative nature tourism programmes in protected areas, which have received several awards. Read about the long road to more inclusion in the mountains in our interview.
05.05.2021 - Get inspired: Ideas for more "Nature without Barriers", an online presentation of the interim results of the project.
5 May 2021 is the European Day of Protest for Equality for People with Disabilities. On this occasion, we would like to present the first results of our project to all interested parties and invite you to our online event:
When? Wednesday, 5 May 2021, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Where? Online via Zoom
Get inspired by new ideas, find like-minded people and share your knowledge: for more Nature without Barriers. We will send the programme and the Zoom access link to all registered participants shortly. We will start with an international exchange (in English) from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. Experts from Germany, Poland and Austria will present their experiences and several best practices. From 2:15 p.m. we will present concrete ideas and tips from the project "Nature without Barriers" in German. Please note that the event will be recorded.