As the industry's leading provider of playground equipment and surfacing safety certification, IPEMA has been instrumental in advocating safer community and school playgrounds. This year, IPEMA created the Checklist for Access, to help minimize confusion about Department of Justice updates to standards for ADA compliance. The Checklist, available as a downloadable PDF at www.voiceofplay.org, is a user-friendly guide to help playground equipment and surfacing companies navigate the standards, and ultimately provide an inclusive place for all to play.
Public Playground Accessibility Checklist
- Public Playgrounds must have an accessible route (206.1-2 Accessible Routes) to the play area at least 60” wide, maximum running slope of 1:20 and maximum cross slope of 1:48 (403.3 Slope). The route to the play area is an accessible route. Minimum width is 36” (403.5.1 Clear Width) and the maximum slope is 1:12 (405.2 Slope). Any running slope over 1:20 or 5% is treated as a ramp with handrails and landings (403.6 Handrails). For further clarification refer to Chapter 4, Accessible Routes, DOJ ADA 2010.
- Within the play area, the safety surfacing must comply with ASTM F 1292-99 or -04 Standard Specification for Impact Attenuation of Surface Systems Under and Around Playground Equipment when located within the use zone for proper impact attenuation. All accessible routes within the play area, clear floor or ground spaces at play components required to be accessible and turning spaces must comply with ASTM 1951-99 Standard Specification for Determination of Accessibility of Surface Systems Under and Around Playground Equipment (1008.2.6 Ground Surfaces).
- Within the play area, the accessible route must be at least 60” wide, with a maximum running slope of 1:16, a maximum cross slope of 1:48 and a minimum of 80” overhead clearance. For small play areas of less than 1000 square feet in total size, the accessible route must be at least 44” wide, with a maximum running slope of 1:16, a maximum cross slope of 1:48 and a minimum of 80” overhead clearance. (1008.2 Accessible Routes, 1008.2.4 Clear Width, 1008.2.5 Ramps).
- Composite play structures that include a transfer system as a means of access must meet the following criteria (1008.3 Transfer Systems):
- Transfer platform height must be between 11-18” with clear minimum width of 24” and depth of 14”
- Transfer steps are maximum of 8” high and include handholds to aid movement.
- Minimum 30” by 48” transfer space must be provided adjacent to the transfer platform. The 48” long minimum dimension of the transfer space shall be centered on and parallel to the 24” long minimum side of the transfer platform. The side of the transfer platform serving the transfer space shall be unobstructed.
- Composite play structures that include ramps that connect elevated play components as a means of access must meet the following criteria (1008.2.5 Ramps):
- Elevated ramps must be at least 36” wide, maximum running slope of 1:12 and maximum length of 144”(12inches) before providing a landing.
- Elevated ramps must include handrails on both sides meeting hand-gripping criteria and with a height between 20-28”. Elevated ramps with handrails, barriers beyond the ramp edge and barriers not extending within 1” of the ramp surface must have edge curbing at least 2” high for the entire ramp length. No handrail extensions are required.
- When elevated ramps change in direction, a 60”x 60”minimum level landing must be provided at both the top and the bottom of each run.
- Elevated ramps and accessible platforms attached at ramp levels shall have no openings on surface greater than 1/2” and vertical change in level less than 1/4” or up to 1/2” with a 2:1 beveled edge (303 Changes in Level).
- Openings on elevated ramp accessible platforms for access/egress play opportunities must be narrowed to 15” or less. (ASTM F1487-11, Section 18.104.22.168 (1-4)).
- Advisory Reach ranges for accessible manipulative and interactive sensory and communicative components must have reach range heights between 18-44” for 5-12 year old user age group and 20-36” for 2-5 year old user age group (Advisory 1008.4.2 Clear Floor or Ground Space).
- Ground level upper body equipment intended for use by a person using a mobility device must be less than 54” above protective surfacing, (ASTM F1487-11, Section 8.3.3).
- Ground level play tables and components must have a minimum vertical knee clearance of at least 24” high, a minimum depth of at least 17” deep and a minimum width of at least 30”. The maximum top of playing surface shall not exceed 31” (1008.4.3 Play Tables).
- Composite play structures must have elevated accessible routes by ramp and or transfer systems to connect at least 50% of the elevated play components (240.2.2 Elevated Play Components). Large composite play structures with more than 20 elevated play components must have at least 25% of the elevated play components connected by elevated ramps (1008.2.1 Ground Level and Elevated Play Components, Exception 1).
- Play areas must have the minimum number of accessible play components and types on the accessible routes per the following criteria: Remember it is one of each type at ground level and 50% elevated that must be accessible. The trigger to use the table is for Additional Number and Types. Where elevated play components are provided, ground level play components shall be provided in accordance with Table 240.2.1.2 and shall comply with 1008.4 Play Components. EXCEPTION: If at least 50 percent of the elevated play components are connected by a ramp and at least 3 of the elevated play components connected by the ramp are different types of play components, the play area shall not be required to comply with 240.2.1.2