Does your playground meet ADA standards?

Building or renovating a playground is a large undertaking. There are many factors to consider; the most important factor being safety. Many existing playground structures do not meet the accessibility and safety standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). American Playground Company – a division of American Fence Company – renovates playgrounds to meet these standards on a regular basis.

A recent playground renovation, such as the one pictured above, is the perfect example of making changes to bring an existing playground up to today’s standards. Prior to the renovation, this South Dakota playground had several problems including: old swings with no fall protection, improper use zones, broken and damaged equipment, and improper access for those who may require the use of ramps or mobility aids such as wheelchairs.

“I believe it is vital to have our schools or other public entities meet the standard of 2010 American with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG),” says American Playground Company Commercial Playground Consultant Chris Stange. “We need to make sure every person, whether a child or adult, as the same ability to play as others. We at American Playground Company would be happy to make you aware of the safety issues you may have and help to bring these up to today’s standards to the best of our knowledge and your budget.”

How do you know if you should upgrade your playground? Answer some basic questions to figure out your safety needs.

  1. Is the play surfacing ADA compliant? (Playground surfacing such as pea rock or sand are not ADA compliant and will not allow for wheelchair use. If you have a loose fill surface, does it have a smooth transition that a wheelchair can get over and in? Does it have the compaction so a wheelchair can turn in it, without getting stuck?)
  2. Do you have barriers that keep wheelchairs from entering? (Curbing around the edge of your structure or steep ramps that can make it difficult for wheelchairs to enter.)
  3. Are your play structures inclusive? (Ramps onto play structures, wheelchair swings and sensory learning elements can all encourage the play of children of all abilities.)

If these questions have sparked your interest in upgrading or building an inclusive and accessible playground, make sure to contact American Playground Company to set up a consultation.

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