Playgrounds

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News Release: First Year Findings on the Accessibility of Playground Surfaces Published

May 24, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

First Year Findings on the Accessibility of Playground Surfaces Published

Do playground surfaces remain accessible for people with disabilities over time? A research team at the National Center on Accessibility (NCA) at Indiana University is attempting to answer that question. The first year findings from a longitudinal study on the installation and maintenance of accessible playground surfaces reveal there is no perfect playground surface. The NCA study, which is being funded by the U.S. Access Board, is examining the performance of various types of surfacing materials at 25 newly constructed playgrounds, including poured-in-place rubber, engineered wood fiber, rubber tiles, and hybrid surface systems.

A Longitudinal Study of Playground Surfaces to Evaluate Accessibility: Year One Findings

A Longitudinal Study of Playground Surfaces
to Evaluate Accessibility:
Year One Findings

Executive Summary

May 2011

Download PDF

by Jennifer K. Skulski, CPSI, Principal Investigator

Purpose

In 2008, the National Center on Accessibility (NCA) at Indiana University initiated a longitudinal study of playground surfaces with research funding by the U.S. Access Board. The purpose of this longitudinal study is to evaluate a variety of playground surfaces, their ability to meet accessibility requirements, their costs upon initial installation and maintenance over 3-5years. The following information is a summary of year one findings. Data collection for the longitudinal study is scheduled to continue through September 2012, with a comprehensive report of findings to follow.

ASTM Ballot for Playground Surface Field Test Withdrawn, Texas School Settles on Playground Surface Complaint

by Jennifer Skulski, CPSI
While the factions of the ASTM F08.63 Subcommittee on Playground Surfaces were debating the merits of a field test to determine the firmness and stability of playground surfaces as they relate to accessibility, the Leander Independent School District (LISD) was negotiating an out of court settlement regarding one of their 22 elementary school playgrounds.
 

Frequently Asked Questions on the Development of a Field Test Method for Measuring the Firmness and Stability of Surface Systems

Prepared by the National Center on Accessibility
June 2010

In 2005, a task group within the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) F08.63 Subcommittee on Playground Surfaces began working on the development of a test method to objectively measure firmness and stability of surfaces systems as related to accessible routes on playgrounds. This test method can be used  by playground owners, facility managers and others  as a method for measuring firmness and stability of surfaces. The following FAQ’s have been prepared by the National Center on Accessibility to provide background  information to playground owners, recreation practitioners, and others  about the field test method for measuring surface firmness and stability.

A2R Webinar Archives

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation Access to Recreation grant program provided $15 million in funding to 36 recreation projects in four Midwestern states from 2006 to 2009. Projects were selected based on their concepts for embracing universal design, opportunity to facilitate inclusion of people of all abilities and opportunity to serve as an exemplar of universal design to community planners, recreation practitioners and advocates.  Over the summer of 2009, the National Center on Accessibility hosted three free 90-minute sessions.  The webinars presented an overview of the project concepts, the planning process, design decisions, construction issues, and fundraising. This was an excellent opportunity for professionals seeking the latest information on universal design trends specific to parks and recreation. The series was sponsored by the Michigan Recreation and Park Association Foundation.
 
Playgrounds
 
Boating & Fishing
 
Interpretive Trails

A2R Webinar Archive: Playgrounds

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation Access to Recreation grant program provided $15 million in funding to 36 recreation projects in four Midwestern states from 2006 to 2009. Projects were selected based on their concepts for embracing universal design, opportunity to facilitate inclusion of people of all abilities and opportunity to serve as an exemplar of universal design to community planners, recreation practitioners and advocates.  Over the summer of 2009, the National Center on Accessibility hosted three free 90-minute sessions.  The webinars presented an overview of the project concepts, the planning process, design decisions, construction issues, and fundraising. This was an excellent opportunity for professionals seeking the latest information on universal design trends specific to parks and recreation.

A2R Webinar Series Transcript: Playgrounds

NATIONAL CENTER ON ACCESSIBILITY
ACCESS TO RECREATION WEBINAR SERIES: Playgrounds
 
JUNE 25, 2009
1:10 ‑ 2:22 p.m. Eastern
 
CAPTIONING (CART) PROVIDED BY: 
VOICE TO PRINT CAPTIONING
1511 E. Valley Place
Dyer IN 46311
219‑865‑7837
 
* * * * *
This is being provided in a rough‑draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in Order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.
 
* * * * *
 
JENNIFER SKULSKI

City of Detroit Sets Strict Specs to Ensure New Playground Surfaces are Safe and Accessible

by Jennifer K. Skulski, CPSI

Throughout the development of accessibility guidelines for playgrounds, there has been a discussion of dichotomy suggesting that a playground surface can not be both accessible to children with disabilities and resilient enough to reduce the likelihood of injury in the event of a fall. There are an estimated 205,850 playground equipment related injuries each year (NPPS, NPSI, CPSC, 2005). Falls from equipment account for 79% of those injuries. However the science of playground surfacing has evolved to prove that it is possible to install and maintain playground surfaces that are both accessible and impact attenuating, and playground owners are putting the various surfacing systems to the test before, during and after the initial purchase and installation.

Designing for Inclusive Play: Applying the Principles of Universal Design to the Playground

by Jennifer K. Skulski, CPSI

Introduction

The public playground is, by far, one of the most important settings for child development. It is one of the few environments where a child has the freedom to run and jump, climb, swing and leap, yell, reign, conjure, create, dream or meditate. In this complicated world that we live in, the playground is a safe and common place for children to come together, to discover the value of play, to learn about each other, to recognize their similarities and differences, to meet physical and social challenges, to leave comfort zones and evolve into the little young people they are meant to be. It is a microcosm for life lessons, from challenge and risk to conflict resolution and cooperation. When we design for these purposes and apply the Principles of Universal Design, we design for inclusive play where every child, regardless of ability or disability, is welcomed and benefits physically, developmentally, emotionally and socially from the environment.