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Playground Accessibility -
Installation Hot Spots

Knowing where to look for accessibility "hot spots" and knowing what to do about them can be a big relief to proactive playground owners concerned about accessibility on their playgrounds.

Hot Spot #1: make sure the area has a designated accessible entrance and route to the playground equipment. This route should have a smooth transition from the exterior surface into the playground surface.

The use of ramps can be used to help make that transition (see above).

The route should be well maintained, firm and level with a minimum width of 60 inches.

Hot Spot #2: Check the slope measurements on the access routes around the play equipment that connect the entry and exit points. These routes should be within six percent or 1:16 running slope, and within two percent or 1:48 cross slope, and must be firm and stable.

An angle finder tool and a piece of angle iron from a local hardware store are the easiest measuring tools to use.

Hot Spot #3: Entry and exit points of equipment should have a firm and stable 48"x30" floor space to provide access for a person with a disability.

Hot Spot #4: No changes in level that are greater than 1/2". This means there should be a relatively smooth transition between any two surfaces, such as a concrete edge and the surface at the entrance of the play area or at the edge of a wear mat and the surrounding surface.

Finally, remember that at least 50 percent of the playground equipment needs to be on an accessible route, and depending on the number of elevated play components, a certain number of ground components must be accessible too.

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November 13, 2019, 7:51 pm PDT

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