The Appalachian Trail Conservancy's has through it's actions has shown little regard for the Americans With Disabilities Act. The Americans With Disabilities Act legislates that Structures will be accessible to all Americans regardless of disabilities. It is not uncommon to find “Privy's” without roofs or sides to avoid compliance to Americans With Disabilities Act. A privy without a roof or sides is not a “structure”. It should be noted that some A.T.C. privy's have ramps and hand rails attached to the walls. There are far more privy's without roofs and sides than those Privy's that include ramps and side rails.
The manner of trail construction and the routing of the Appalachian Trail has shown a lack of compliance to the American's With Disabilities Act. The following are three examples from widely geographically dispersed locations of where the A.T.C. Has routed the Appalachian Trail from fairly negotiable hiking tread to climbing tread that involves rock scrambling or rock climbing. In an area close to Johnson Mountain there is a boulder strewn ridge, which at one time was Peregrine Falcon habitat. During the time that the Falcon habitat was protected the Appalachian Trail was routed beneath the ridge. As soon as the Falcon was moved to a less protected category the Appalachian Trail Conservancy routed the Appalachian Trail from a hiking tread to a rock scramble tread on the ridge through the previously protected habitat. This rerouting of the Appalachian Trail shows little regard for wild life or Disabled Access. A second example is the Mau-Har trail section. The Mau-Har is a hiking tread which has been superseded by a rock scramble reroute over Chimney Rocks and “Three Ridges”. Close to this section has been a reroute from hiking tread to climbing tread that involves a thirty foot rock climb in the Humpback Mountain area. Thirdly in the Mount Mariah area there has been a reroute from hiking tread to rock scramble tread. These are three of many examples of where the Appalachian Trail Conservancy has rerouted the Appalachian Trail Tread from fairly accessible hiking tread to less accessible rock scramble or rock climbing tread. These reroutes show little regard For The American's With Disabilities Act by The Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
The actions of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to avoid compliance with The American's With Disabilities Act, is unacceptable. There are different levels of disabilities, The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has been consistently, by it's actions been denying access to The Appalachian National Scenic Trail to an increasingly larger segment of American's.
I also posted this artical on a hiker forum White Blaze, There are many levels of disability for amputees or arthritis http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=36516