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Tips to Create a Wheelchair Accessible Playground

With public accessibility laws looming in the background of lawmaker agendas, accessible equipment is becoming increasingly popular. Incorporating ADA compliant events and playground structures into design is important for planning of future playgrounds. Certain criteria is considered when offering ADA playground equipment.

Offer Accessible Activities: First, certain play components of structures should be accessible to wheelchair bound children. This is obtained by offering ground level events, along with a transfer station and/or ramp system to access the elevated play components. Events for ADA playground equipment can include tic-tac-toe, music panels, sensory panels, learning panels, and more.

Accessible Routes: Secondly, one must account for the route to the playground. If the surface does not allow wheelchair access, offering ADA compliant equipment is of no use. The playground surface must be approved for use by wheelchairs. Many surfaces offer complete accessibility. These include, but are not limited to, poured-in-place rubber surfaces, rubber mulch, engineered wood fiber, and rubber tiles.

Added Costs of ADA Compliance: Costs of building a completely accessible playground with ramps and poured rubber surfacing that is compliant with ADA rules can be exponential, often running more than one-hundred-thousand dollars for a large park or school project. The cost of offering ADA playground equipment events and specific activities is very limited in cost. These include ADA swing seats, wheel-through climbers, and smaller play structures.