Articles

Playgrounds That Support The Americans With Disabilities Act

by Austin Stanfel Building a Foundation for the Future

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990 that prohibits discrimination based on disability. This includes deafness, blindness, physical limitations from a missing limb(s), paralysis, or cerebral palsy, autism, certain illnesses such as HIV, and various mental diseases. While we correctly presume this is directly connected to accessibility to any building, transportation, and the right to maintain their job, this also includes any children who are handicapped and cannot enjoy full privileges at a playground. The law has been amended to ensure equal opportunity, and it's up to local parks to design a playground that allows all children to have access regardless of their disability.

To build a fair playground, consider the following construction. First, it's evident that for those in a wheelchair, building stable paths, namely out of concrete or rubber, allows children to get to certain play areas. Having so-called transfer stations help provide access to high areas. Wheelchair ramps are not the most popular because they are as big as the playground itself, so having a mechanical or manual lift is beneficial. For ADA compliance, 25% to 50% of the structure must sit on the ground level. There must also be components that are safe for wheelchairs and children to be on.

Another option has a pathway where there are toy areas stationed. It's a very aesthetic, progressive design as part of the park and can be installed and maintained easily. For children in wheelchairs, they will have a place of their own where they are comfortable. Water, always a key feature, should have fountains low and accessible to lean over. On the ground, wet sand is a safe surface because it doesn't provide the burns on the ground and make playing there easier if parents take their child out of the chair.

A couple of examples of playgrounds that are known for perfect inclusiveness: Pocatello, Idaho. The father of a child with spina bifida opened a commercial playground in 2011 with open ramps, smooth surfaces within and around the play area, and therapeutic swings for those with sensory issues. In Pasadena, California, a ship-themed playground opened in 2011, half an acre, featuring wheelchair-friendly flooring and a multi-sensory section featuring sand and water. Another example is in New South Wales, Australia, where one of the biggest playgrounds in the world on Lake Macquarie features wheelchair accessible swings, touch-friendly totem poles, a maze, a quiet area, and much more.

Everyone has a right to play. It is our duty as a society to see that all kids can play. Parks are now formally adapting to strict ADA guidelines with something that everyone can use regardless of their disability. Many companies are now opening themselves to the community where parents get together and raise money to build these whole areas. Parents did the playgrounds mentioned above with a disabled child who also got local officials to help make them. This is great for everyone involved.


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About Austin Stanfel Advanced Pro  Building a Foundation for the Future

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Joined APSense since, May 16th, 2019, From San Francisco, United States.

Created on Jul 21st 2020 09:53. Viewed 238 times.

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