Surfacing the Accessible Playground

2 Follow the Accessibility Standards The 2010 Americans with Disabili Ɵ es Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design apply to state and local governments (Title II) and places of public accommoda Ɵ on (Title III). The Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Standards apply to federal facili Ɵ es. Both standards require newly constructed playgrounds and those exis Ɵ ng playgrounds that are altered to comply with a series of technical provisions for accessible play components and the accessible route connec Ɵ ng these components. The accessibility standards are minimum standards and do not require the en Ɵ re play surface area to be accessible. The only required accessible surface area includes the accessible route from the entry of the play area, at least one connec Ɵ on to each accessible play component (points of entry and egress) and any clear space requirements adjacent to accessible play components. Children’s play behavior indicates they spontaneously move throughout the play equipment, naviga Ɵ ng on their own preferred routes. Designing the en Ɵ re use zone as a congruent accessible route is recommended as a best prac Ɵ ce to accommodate the free play behavior of all children naviga Ɵ ng the play space. Playground owners, designers and maintenance personnel must have a good understanding of the requirements for accessible routes within the play area and comply with the provisions of the accessibility standards. Outside of the play area, an accessible route must connect at the site arrival point, include parking, and the path to the main entrance of the play area. The accessible route must also connect all accessible elements and features of the play area within the site. Within the play area, the clear width of the ground level accessible routes shall be 60 inches minimum. Two excep Ɵ ons may be applied: 1) In play areas less than 1000 square feet, the clear width of accessible routes shall be permi Ʃ ed to be 44 inches minimum, if at least one turning space is provided where the restricted accessible route exceeds 30 feet in length; or 2) the clear width of accessible routes shall be permi Ʃ ed to be 36 inches minimum for a distance of 60 inches maximum provided that mul Ɵ ple reduced width segments are separated by segments that are 60 inches wide minimum and 60 inches long minimum. 4

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