Playgrounds are an essential component of any community because they provide a place for children to play, learn, and grow.
But for many children with special needs or disabilities, the playground is off-limits because it lacks accessible features that allow them to fully participate.
This is why the ADA has special regulations in place for building playgrounds.
What does an ADA-compliant playground look like?
The U.S. Access Board states that,
“Where accessible routes serve ground level play components:
The vertical clearance shall be 80 inches high minimum.
The running slope not steeper than 1:16 or 6.25%.
The cross slope shall not be steeper than 1:48 or 2.08%.
Openings in floor or ground surfaces shall not allow passage of a sphere more than ½ inch diameter.
Changes in level between ¼ inch high minimum and ½ inch high maximum shall be beveled with a slope not steeper than 1:2”
The ADA also requires public entities to provide accommodations for children with disabilities whenever possible. This includes providing assistive devices like wheelchairs or walkers that can be used on the playground surface to allow kids who need them the opportunity to play.
How can I make my playground more accessible?
One of the most effective ways to make playgrounds more accessible is by using rubber surfacing, which can be installed on any surface and provides excellent shock absorption for kids who are prone to falling.
Rubber surfaces also provide safe footing that prevents slips, trips, and falls even in wet weather conditions. They also maintain their color and integrity over time, so they’ll continue to look great.
What are the benefits of rubber surfacing for playgrounds?
Rubber flooring is resistant to rain, ice, and snow, allowing kids to play in any weather. It also helps prevent injuries by providing a soft surface for falls.
Adding rubber surfacing to your playground is a great way to make it more accessible for all kids and comply with ADA regulations. Not only will this make your playground more inclusive (and colorful!), but it will also keep kids safe.
The best playgrounds are no longer simple or static. They begin with the right foundation and must include an ADA-compliant safety surface like rubber playground surfaces from Mark Tool & Rubber Co, Inc. Contact us today to request a quote!