On November 17, 2000, the United States Architectural and Transportation Barrier Compliance Board published “Final Guidelines For Play Areas” for newly built or altered play areas, under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Although these guidelines were not mandatory at the time of publication, they are an important resource to consult when considering a playground project. Complete or summarized versions of the “Final Guidelines For Play Areas” may be obtained at www.access-board.gov.
All Eagle Play Structures can either be initially designed to meet these guidelines or modified at a later date to bring a play area into compliance. Your Eagle playground designer can offer expert advice on issues of ADA compliance.
1. MAKE THE PLAY AREA ACCESSIBLE WITH PROPER SURFACING
Install a playground surface that provides not only suitable resiliency for fall protection, per ASTM 1292-99, but also is “firm, stable and slip-resistant,” per ASTM F 1951-99, to provide access for wheelchairs. Connect the actual play area surface to other accessible routes in the area. There are a variety of surfacing materials that meet both criteria.
2. PROVIDE AN ADEQUATE NUMBER OF ACCESSIBLE PLAY COMPONENTS
Make sure your playground includes the proper mix of accessible elevated play components as well as a sufficient number of accessible ground-level play components. At least one half of the elevated play components need to be accessible via a transfer or ramp system. See the chart below for guidelines. On structures with fewer than 20 elevated play components, a transfer system is suitable. On structures with 20 or more elevated play components, a ramp system is usually required. (Play Structures built into elevated banks can sometimes eliminate or reduce the need for ramps.)
|Number of Elevated Components Provided||Ground Level Components Required|
|5-7||2 (at least 2 types)|
|8-10||3 (at least 3 types)|
|11-13||4 (at least 3 types)|
|14-16||5 (at least 3 types)|
|17-19||6 (at least 3 types)|
|20-22||7 (at least 4 types)|
|23-25||8 (at least 4 types)|
|Over 25||8 plus 1 for each additional 3 over 25,
or fraction thereof (at least 5 types)
Ground-level play components such as swings, spring riders, activity panels, free-standing monkey bars, steering wheels, and beneath-deck play areas provide fun for children of all physical abilities.
3. TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR PLAY COMPONENTS
- Space for wheelchair maneuvering to and from the component
- Wheelchair space at the play component
- Specified height of clearances at play tables
- Specified height of entry points or seats
- Provisions for transfer supports (such as a grasp handle or other means of support)