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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Other Power Driven Mobility Devices (OPDMDs)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations address the use of wheelchairs and “Other Power Driven Mobility Devices” (“OPDMDs) by persons with mobility disabilities. These rules apply to “public accommodations,” which includes The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC's) properties that are open to the public. The regulations provide that with regard to “public accommodations” persons with mobility disabilities are entitled to:

  1. Use wheelchairs and manually powered mobility aids (canes, walkers, etc) in areas that are open to pedestrian use. A “Wheelchair” includes a manually operated device or power-driven device designed primarily for use by an individual with a mobility disability for the main purpose of indoor or both indoor or outdoor locomotion.
  2. Use OPDMDs if the landowner can make “reasonable modifications to its practices to accommodate them.” An assessment has been done for the following TNC properties in accordance with the ADA regulations. Based on the assessments, use of OPDMDs on these properties is subject to the following limitations:

 

Property

OPDMDs permitted without limitation

OPDMDs permitted with following restrictions

OPDMDs prohibited

Emiquon Preserve

N/A

OPDMDs are not allowed except for specific waterfowl hunting opportunities.  See hunting information for more details and requirements.

 

Spunky Bottoms Preserve

N/A

N/A 

X

Kankakee Sands Preserve

N/A

N/A

X

Indian Boundary Prairie Preserve

N/A

 N/A

X

Grassy Slough Preserve

N/A

 N/A

X

Nachusa Grasslands Preserve

N/A

 N/A

X

  

On those properties where OPDMDs are permitted, the following conditions shall also apply:

  • A person using an OPDMD on TNC property may be asked to provide credible assurance that the OPDMD is required because of the person’s disability. TNC will accept the presentation of a valid, State-issued, disability parking placard or card, or other State-issued proof of disability as a credible assurance that the use of the OPDMD is for the person’s mobility disability. In lieu of such evidence, TNC shall accept as a credible assurance a verbal representation, not contradicted by observable fact, that the OPDMD is being used for a mobility disability. A “valid” disability placard or card is one that is presented by the person to whom it was issued and is otherwise in compliance with the State of issuance’s requirements for disability placards or cards. TNC does not accept responsibility for storage of OPDMDs.
  • TNC does not accept liability for damage to OPDMDs, or injury to the operator, whether caused by the operator, another visitor to the property, or any other circumstance.
  • The person operating the OPDMD cannot carry another person or object that would cause the OPDMD to tip or become unstable or cause harm to the driver, or others on trail.
  • TNC does not accept liability for damage caused by the operator of the OPDMD, or injury to others caused by the operator of such device.
  • TNC reserves the right to suspend the use of OPDMDs or change, modify or amend its OPDMD policies at any time.
  • TNC does not represent that the TNC property is safe for use by an OPDMD. Certain risks are inherent in the use of natural areas, including rough surfaces and features such as snow, mud, vegetation, tree roots, and water crossings; all users must exercise reasonable care and judgment.

 

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