Playgrounds are a great way for children to get a healthy dose of physical activity, fresh air and social time with other children their age. To ensure all children can reap the many benefits of outdoor play, it is important for public playgrounds to be accessible to children with disabilities.
When planning a playground installation or renovation, consider any barriers that could prevent children from accessing equipment that have a disability and may or may not use a wheelchair. Wood chips, raised slides, narrow pathways & high non-ramped platforms are all potential barriers that prevent access.
Not sure where to start? ADA requirements for public playgrounds have been established to help ensure all children can access recreation equipment and the many benefits playgrounds provide for child development. The easiest way to make sure your playground is accessible is to follow standards outlined by the ADA.
For a helpful summary, refer to the U.S. Access Board guide, Accessible Play Areas: A Summary of Accessibility Guidelines for Play Areas. The guide includes vital information for ADA planning such as the requirements for accessible routes, when transfer systems are used, accessible ground surfaces and more. The guide also helps users identify ground level play components versus elevated components and the different requirements for each.
Who is required to comply with ADA requirements?
The ADA states “each service, program or activity conducted by a public entity, when viewed in its entirety, be readily accessible to, and usable by, individuals with disabilities.” This includes public schools, government parks or any other place of public accommodation.
The standards apply to “both indoor and outdoor areas where human-constructed improvements, structures, equipment or property have been added to the natural environment.” This includes outdoor playgrounds and indoor play areas.
At Pro Playgrounds, we understand the importance of making sure playgrounds comply with ADA standards as well as the importance for all children to have access to the many benefits that recreation equipment provides. Simple solutions like poured in place rubber surfacing and ramped platforms help ensure all children can join in on the fun. Get inspired. Browse our selection of fully accessible playground structures here.