Playgrounds for Children With Disabilities

Handicap Accessible PlaygroundsPlaygrounds for children with disabilities are important for all kids to be able to play with each other. There are a lot of things that can be done to accomplish this task including surfacing, ramping the structure, adding sensory panels,  adding ADA Swings, allowing access for children to the structure and designing the structure that allows a child to go down a slide then  access their wheelchair at an easy to get to transfer station. See below for a list of things to think about when planning your structure.

Playgrounds for children with disabilities

Ramped Playgrounds

Ramps are to be designated at a 1:12 slope with angled transition decks attaching to each ramp. So if you want a ramp to be 1’ off the ground you will need 12’ of ramp leading to the deck. Every 1’ the deck is elevated you will need 12’ of ramp. If a playground has 20 elevated play events that are not accessible by ground you will need a ramped structure.

There is a law that dictates these regulations and it comes from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The home page for the ADA is www.ada.gov.

Ramped playgrounds can be expensive but considering it will last 20 years it is well worth the investment and allows children to play with each other through the years to come. All of our playgrounds can be designated ADA accessible but ramping the structure and making the structure ADA compliant are 2 different things.

Feel free to contact us with more information regarding plans for ramped structures.

Here are a couple of terms that are often used for accessible playgrounds and for playgrounds for all abilities:

  • Accessible Playground: Refers to the degree of access to the playground a child has.
  • Inclusive Playground: Refers to including everyone in the play environment and making all children feel like they belong.
  • Universal Designed Playgrounds: Refers to a playground that is build for children with all abilities.  Environments of play and equipment are taken into consideration for all children.

ADA Compliant Playground: Refers to a playground that complies with the ADA laws.

We understand that all schools have different needs. We carry playground equipment  that creates vestibular stimulation plus accessible surfacing that enhances sensory stimulation.  Playgrounds should have designs that are high in traffic and allow quiet spaces to children to hang out. All children should be able to play with each other and develop with each other.