Friday, July 10, 2009

Playground Equipment Accessible to All Children

The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act prompted the Architectural and Transportation Compliance Board suppressing Accessibility to establish guidelines for public places to play. These guidelines include, but are not limited to the following things that should make public playgrounds:

1. Provide opportunities for the use of i play areas by children with different abilities
2. Support of social interaction with children in play areas
3. Create play area challenges, but the barriers
4. Maintain ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) safety standards of
5. Allow free use of greater number of possible
6. Provide access to elevated structures for disabled kids
7. Help designers and Architects include improved access to new design.

Playground surfacing will take into account wheelchair access and maneuverability. ASTM standards require a surface that "firm, steadfast, and slip resistant." Soft rubber tiles are examples of cover materials that provide safety and Accessibility. Tire chips and wood chips are better than the surface of sand or pea gravel, but they are not easy for those in wheelchairs to navigate as a pour-in-place rubber surface or soft rubber tiles.

Perhaps the most important steps in creating an accessible play area will provide an accessible route to and through the playing area. Many outdoor recreation facilities use a combination of loose fill and only to cover accommodate all children enough. Wheelchairs to avoid dropping off access from the paths' end and tipping over, it is best to install a gradually sloping transition edge 30 degrees or less. Access paths should be at least 5 feet wide, or wide enough for two wheelchairs. There should also turnaround / parking space at least five feet in diameter installed beside the playground of any equipment requiring a child to transfer from a wheelchair onto the structure.

Transfer points are places where children with disabilities move from their wheelchair onto the play structure itself. Physical therapists report that 40-60% of wheelchair users can move out of their chairs to a play structure. Children need a transfer point from 11 to 18 inches high so that they can make transfers by themselves. Transfer points should also feature grab bars or other assistance device.

Ramps also provides access for children with disabilities and elevated decks above. The ramps must be at least 36 inches wide, with a slope of no more than 1:12 (a rise of a foot in height for every 12 horizontal feet), and they should have handrails and curbs. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires access to at least half of the elevated play components by ramp. However, if there are fewer than 20 elevated play component, access through the transfer of points is acceptable. If more than 20 elevated play structures, at least four of them should have ramp access.

But wheelchair access is only for purposes of making playgrounds accessible for children with disabilities. The needs of sight or hearing impaired children and children with disabilities or development of other physical and mental challenges should not be ignored.

Also keep in mind that the steps taken to increase Accessibility of children with disabilities will benefit all children. Roomier decks, shorter ladder Heights, and ramps are user-friendly to everyone, and grab bars and handrails are safety features that all children can benefit from.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Bookmark and Share