Why Accessible Playgrounds?
Because kids in wheelchairs can’t play on playgrounds covered with wood chips. And children with muscular disabilities can fall out of swings that lack sides and backs. Or a child with vision or hearing problems can benefit from equipment specially designed for play alongside friends, siblings or any other child.
A new federal law defines playground accessibility as a civil right. And under that law, playgrounds built or altered after March 14, 2012, are required to have wheelchair-friendly surfaces and equipment that helps kids with physical challenges move around.
You Can Help!
A comprehensive database of inclusive and accessible playgrounds does not yet exist, but you can help us create one.
Go to your playground. Does it have any of the features listed below?
Search to see if we have it listed. (See “Find An Accessible Playground” at the top of this page.)
Add your playground, or edit to add missing information.
Features To Look For
Smooth surface throughout
Smooth, poured-in-place surfaces are considered the most accessible. Engineered wood fiber and rubber tiles can also meet the standard. Playground surfaces must be resilient enough to act as a cushion when a child falls.
A transfer platform is a low step that allows someone using a wheelchair to transfer out of it onto the playground equipment. It should have an unobstructed side so that the wheelchair can ride up beside it, and should have handrails for grabbing. Steps that follow, to climb the structure, should be no more than eight inches high.
Ramps to play components
Ramps are required when play structures have more than 20 elevated play components, and they must connect to a quarter of them. An elevated ramp can’t rise more than a foot, and it can’t rise more than an inch for every foot in length.
There are many versions of accessible swings. Most of them provide additional back support, and they may include a safety harness. Some swings allow wheelchair users to board without leaving their wheelchairs.
These include drums, chimes and other things that make noise or music.
Sight-impaired play components
Some playgrounds include information in Braille for those with sight impairments. Other examples that may appeal to sight-impaired users include textured materials and fragrant gardens.
A fence that contains children within the playground, keeping them from outside hazards such as roads, drop-offs and bodies of water.
A playground with only one way in or out is easiest for parents and caregivers to monitor children, reducing the likelihood that they’ll exit the playground without being noticed.
Playgrounds We’ve Identified So Far
Here’s our current tally for major metropolitan areas. We know there are many unaccounted for, especially in those cities highlighted below.
Source:Playgrounds For Everyone