Three people sit together at a park picnic area. At least two of them are seated in wheelchairs.

Ashley Schahfer, center, participates with Matt Howard and West Livaudais in an Oregon Parks and Recreation Department adaptive camping pilot program in 2018

Courtesy Oregon Parks and Recreation Department

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State parks will become much more accessible under a plan from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Doors, parking lots and restrooms account for about half of the existing barriers for people with disabilities. Those should take about five years to fix, but the full plan is expected to take about 25 years. Advocates for people with disabilities say they’re heartened that parks will be brought into compliance with the federal Americans With Disabilities Act, passed more than 30 years ago. Our guests are Helena Kesch, the ADA coordinator for Oregon Parks & Rec, and Ashley Schahfer, owner and consultant of Empowering Access, who is a park user with disabilities.

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