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PlaygroundEquipment Blog
Friday, September 27, 2013

Creating a Wheelchair Accessible Playground

Since March of 2011, the ADA has required that all playgrounds be in compliance with ADA accessibility guidelines. With these laws had come the challenge of creating a wheelchair accessible playground that is fun for the children who will be using the playgrounds in wheelchairs. If you are struggling with trying to figure out how create an ADA accessible playground then check out the following tips!

  • Begin with deciding on safety surfacing. It does not matter what type of equipment you have if wheelchairs can't access the equipment due to surfacing issues. The best surfaces are included, but not limited to, poured in place rubber, rubber mulch, rubber tiles, or engineered wood fiber.
  • Offer accessible play components! Many large structures have activity panels that may include tic tac toe, music panels, sensory panels, and learning panels. Some structures also have post-mounted bongos, drums, telescopes, and ship's wheels.
  • Consider making the entire structure wheelchair accessible. All structures feature transfer stations, but you have the option of making the entire structure wheelchair accessible by using ramps.
  • Include ADA swing seats, wheel-thru climbers, and smaller structures.
The cost of creating an entirely wheelchair accessible playground can be overwhelming. To keep your project in budget, consider designing part of the playground to be entirely wheelchair accessible with smaller structures, ADA swing seats, and wheel-thru climbers.

playground-playsystem
Bridging Pathways Playground
If you want to create a structure that is entirely wheelchair accessible we are happy to help you design something that fits in your budget. To the right is the Bridging Pathways Playground that was designed for wheelchairs. Because of the use of ramps, the structure is larger than a regular structure that just features transfer stations.

For a full article on creating a wheelchair accessible playground click here. As always, we are happy to answer any questions you have about creating your wheelchair accessible playground.
Monday, September 23, 2013

Keeping Your Playground Safe

Playground safety is a very important issue. From 2001-2008 there were over 218,000 playground injuries, 51% of which where on public playgrounds. Since 1995, approximately $1.2 billion has been spent because of public playground injuries. The infographic on the right has even more detailed information about playground injuries and how they can easily be prevented.

Prevention by supervision is probably the easiest way to prevent injury. Approximately 40% of playground injuries are a result of lack of supervision. However, no amount of supervision will prevent injuries if the equipment is not safe!

How can you be sure that your public playgrounds are safe to use? You can always contact your manufacturer to schedule a yearly playground inspection. While you wait between inspections, you can keep an eye on your equipment yourself!

You might be thinking, "how will I know what to inspect?" We have a detailed checklist posted on our website that will help you inspect your playground! Feel free to print it off to always have it handy. You can reach the checklist by clicking here.

keep your playground safe
By performing routine inspections on your own, you will know if a problem arises that needs a professional eye. These routine inspections can catch problems early on and prevent possible injuries due to the problem. If you do find a problem contact your manufacturer immediately!

Safe and happy playing!
Thursday, September 12, 2013

Drawing Design Inspiration

When designing a new playground it can seem overwhelming trying to figure out where to start. If you are planning on a large structure it can be difficult to decide what to pair with it, or even what type of structure you want in the first place. If you decide to go with a small structure you may be wondering what independent play elements to pair with it, or if you should add a second small structure.

Why not draw inspiration from those who will be using the playground? A southeast Atlanta community did just that! This article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution highlights the building of a playground at Dobbs Elementary School, a school that has not had a playground in over 10 years. In search of inspiration for a playground design, children and adults in the community were able to submit playground drawings!

It is always great to go right to those who will be playing on the playground. They can tell you exactly what they want in their playground. Combining the most popular elements on these drawings can lead you to a great playground that all children will love.