The Gathering Place: Inclusive Design for Everyone

Session Type:  Speed Session (20 miniutes)

Track: Planning, Design and Maintenance


The Gathering Place is a new 100-acre park in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The $465-million park provides multiple features — from a sport court, skate area, boating facilities, water features and large playground. The overall goal is to be an inclusive park no matter your racial, ethnic, economic or ability level. Tulsa was the site of “the single-worst incident of racial violence in American history," with approximately 300 African American residents killed in a 1921 riot. The location of The Gathering Place is the middle of Tulsa’s diverse neighborhoods. The intent is to provide a neutral location for residents of all backgrounds to intermingle and to get to know each other no matter their differences. The park was voted as the best new attraction in the United States by USA Today newspaper, but, more importantly, was recognized by Time magazine and the top “100 Worlds Greatest Places” to experience in 2019.


Learning Outcomes:

Understand how the design of a park and recreation location can be used as a place for people of all ages, economic levels, racial background and abilities to enjoy and interact.

Understand how the use of universal design helps to allow to not only meet but also exceed accessibility standards. This allows people with multiple or severe disabilities to enjoy an outdoor setting.



Mark Trieglaff

President, Accessibility Consultation and Training Services, Inc.

Accessibility Consultation and Training Services Inc. has extensive experience in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Universal Design and the Fair Housing Act. Mark Trieglaff has spoken nationally and internationally on the subject of accessibility and universal design. Trieglaff has extensive experience in the development of transition plans under the ADA for recreation departments and has been used in lawsuits as an expert witness.

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