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KOA Highlights Efforts to Improve Outdoor Accessibility

Kampgrounds of America (KOA) releases its first research report on the state of accessibility in camping and outdoor enjoyment today. Inclusive of physical, cognitive and socio-economic factors, accessibility in the outdoors continues to be an industry-wide challenge that KOA endeavors to unravel, the company stated in a release.

Around 1 billion individuals – approximately 15% of the global population – live with one or more disabling conditions. KOA’s report, Outdoor Accessibility: Charting Paths to Inclusion, examines incidence, behavior and barriers those with limitations face while camping (38% of those surveyed).

KOA stated it was encouraged by findings that 48% of accessibility-challenged campers find camping to be more accessible than other outdoor activities or leisure travel. However, there is progress to made to bring the outdoors to everyone.

“In 2023, our focus on DEI at KOA was dedicated to understanding and envisioning accessibility in outdoor spaces and companies. Knowledge is half the battle, which is why we share the data we’ve collected to bring more awareness to what an accessible outdoors means,” said Whitney Scott, senior vice president of strategy at KOA. “Moving into 2024, we’re committed to building on what we have learned through programs, design and initiatives to create a more accessible outdoors and workplace environment.”

The report found the most prevalent and critical barriers revolve around essential infrastructure such as bathrooms (46%) and level or smooth pathways (37%), which underscores the importance of improving accessibility within campgrounds and outdoor spaces.

“Personally, accessibility means a lot and bringing that passion to help drive KOA’s advancements in accessibility has been frankly therapeutic and healing,” said Scott. “We see that providing accessible outdoor experiences is not just a moral imperative, but a significant opportunity to increase the diversity in outdoor enthusiasts.”

Read more about KOA’s initiatives and access the full report here.

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