Creating Accessible Playgrounds
- We do not have children with disabilities in the community. Statistically, more than 15% of the people in our communities have disabilities.
- ADA accessibility standards are not enforceable. Even in the absence of the final rule to guide design, you are still under an obligation to make it accessible to and usable by children with disabilities.
- It is too costly. With planning, an accessible play area makes the play environment more enjoyable for everyone and is not necessarily more expensive.
Pointers on Good Play Design
- Is there an accessible route: to-on-through-off-back?
- Is there an equitable number and variety of experiences for all children? If so, show which ground-level and elevated components are accessible, describe how they meet the criteria, and how children can access them.
- Identify the accessible activities that are physical and social and indicate the equity of opportunities at both elevated and ground levels.
- Identify the activities for children who cannot or choose not to leave their wheelchairs.
- Identify how the design of individual play components and the placement in the layout of the structure meet the technical and scoping provisions of the rule.
- Ask the developers to sign an agreement stating that they agree to comply with ADA standards and will correct any problems.
Parents of children with disabilities must continue to work closely with manufacturers and designers to create playgrounds that comply with the ADA and provide an accessible environment for all children.
For a copy of the Proposed Rule on Accessibility Guidelines for Play Facilities, contact the Access Board at (202) 272-5434 or visit its Web site at The Access Board.