Text of the Guidelines

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, part 1191 of Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 1191 -- AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA) ACCESSIBILITY GUIDELINES FOR BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES

1. The authority citation for 36 CFR part 1191 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 42 U.S.C. 12204.

2. Appendix A to Part 1191 is amended as follows:

a. By revising pages i, ii, 2, 3, 4, and 76 and by adding pages 1A, 4A, and 77 through 81 as set forth below.
b. In the appendix to Appendix A by adding pages A22 through A25 as set forth below.

The revisions and additions read as follows:

Appendix A to Part 1191 -- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities

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2.3 Incorporation by Reference.

2.3.1 General. The standards listed in 2.3.2 are incorporated by reference in this document. The Director of the Federal Register has approved these standards for incorporation by reference in accordance with 5U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies of the referenced standards may be inspected at the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, 1331 F Street, NW., Suite 1000, Washington, DC; at the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section, 1425 New York Avenue, NW., Washington, DC; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., Suite 700, Washington, DC.

2.3.2 Referenced Standards. The specific edition of the standards listed below are referenced in this document. Where differences occur between this document and the referenced standards, this document applies.

2.3.2.1 ASTM. Copies of the referenced standards may be obtained from the American Society for Testing and Materials, 100 Bar Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania 19428 (http://www.astm.org).

ASTM F 1292-99 Standard Specification for Impact Attenuation of Surface Systems Under and Around Playground Equipment (see 15.6.7.2 Ground Surfaces, Use Zones).

ASTM F 1487-98 Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Playground Equipment for Public Use (see 3.5 Definitions, Use Zone).

ASTM F 1951-99 Standard Specification for Determination of Accessibility of Surface Systems Under and Around Playground Equipment (see 15.6.7.1 Ground Surfaces, Accessibility).

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3. 5 Definitions.

Amusement Attraction. Any facility, or portion of a facility, located within an amusement park or theme park which provides amusement without the use of an amusement device. Examples include, but are not limited to, fun houses, barrels, and other attractions without seats.

Elevated Play Component. A play component that is approached above or below grade and that is part of a composite play structure consisting of two or more play components attached or functionally linked to create an integrated unit providing more than one play activity.

Ground Level Play Component. A play component that is approached and exited at the ground level.

Play Area. A portion of a site containing play components designed and constructed for children.

Play Component. An element intended to generate specific opportunities for play, socialization, or learning. Play components may be manufactured or natural, and may be stand alone or part of a composite play structure.

Soft Contained Play Structure. A play structure made up of one or more components where the user enters a fully enclosed play environment that utilizes pliable materials (e.g., plastic, netting, fabric).

Use Zone. The ground level area beneath and immediately adjacent to a play structure or equipment that is designated by ASTM F 1487 Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Playground Equipment for Public Use (see 2.3.2) for unrestricted circulation around the equipment and on whose surface it is predicted that a user would land when falling from or exiting the equipment.

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15 RECREATION FACILITIES.

15.1 Amusement Rides. (Reserved).

15.2 Boating Facilities. (Reserved).

15.3 Fishing Piers and Platforms. (Reserved).

15.4 Golf. (Reserved).

15.5 Miniature Golf. (Reserved).

15.6 Play Areas.

15.6.1* General. Newly designed and newly constructed play areas for children ages 2 and over and altered portions of existing play areas shall comply with the applicable provisions of section 4, except as modified or otherwise provided by this section. Where separate play areas are provided within a site for specified age groups, each play area shall comply with this section. Where play areas are designed or constructed in phases, this section shall be applied so that when each successive addition is completed, the entire play area complies with all the applicable provisions of this section.

EXCEPTIONS: 1. Play areas located in family child care facilities where the proprietor actually resides shall not be required to comply with 15.6.

2. Where play components are relocated in existing play areas for the purpose of creating safe use zones, 15.6 shall not apply, provided that the ground surface is not changed or extended for more than one use zone.

3. Where play components are altered and the ground surface is not altered, the ground surface shall not be required to comply with 15.6.7, unless required by 4.1.6(2).

4. The provisions of 15.6.1 through 15.6.7 shall not apply to amusement attractions.

5. Compliance with 4.4 shall not be required within the boundary of the play area.

6. Stairs shall not be required to comply with 4.9.

15.6.2* Ground Level Play Components. Ground level play components shall be provided in the number and types required by 15.6.2.1 and 15.6.2.2. Ground level play components that are provided to comply with 15.6.2.1 shall be permitted to satisfy the number required by 15.6.2.2, provided that the minimum required types of play components are provided. Where more than one ground level play component required by 15.6.2.1 and 15.6.2.2 is provided, the play components shall be integrated in the play area.

15.6.2.1 General. Where ground level play components are provided, at least one of each type provided shall be located on an accessible route complying with 15.6.4 and shall comply with 15.6.6.

15.6.2.2 Additional Number and Types. Where elevated play components are provided, ground level play components shall be provided in accordance with Table 15.6.2.2. Ground level play components required by 15.6.2.2 shall be located on an accessible route complying with 15.6.4 and shall comply with 15.6.6.

EXCEPTION: If at least 50 percent of the elevated play components are connected by a ramp, and if at least 3 of the elevated play components connected by the ramp are different types of play components, 15.6.2.2 shall not apply.

Table 15.6.2.2
Number and Types of Ground Level Play Components
Required to be on Accessible Route

Number of Elevated Play Components Provided Minimum Number of Ground Level Play Components Required to be on Accessible Route Minimum Number of Different Types of Ground Level Play Components Required to be on Accessible Route
1 Not applicable Not applicable
2 to 4 1 1
5 to 7 2 2
8 to 10 3 3
11 to 13 4 3
14 to 16 5 3
17 to 19 6 3
20 to 22 7 4
23 to 25 8 4
More than 25 8 plus 1 for each additional 3 over 25, or fraction thereof 5

15.6.3* Elevated Play Components. Where elevated play components are provided, at least 50 percent shall be located on an accessible route complying with 15.6.4. Elevated play components connected by a ramp shall comply with 15.6.6.

15.6.4* Accessible Routes. At least one accessible route complying with 4.3, as modified by 15.6.4, shall be provided.

EXCEPTIONS: 1. Transfer systems complying with 15.6.5 shall be permitted to connect elevated play components, except where 20 or more elevated play components are provided, no more than 25 percent of the elevated play components shall be permitted to be connected by transfer systems.

2. Where transfer systems are provided, an elevated play component shall be permitted to connect to another elevated play component in lieu of an accessible route.

3. Platform lifts (wheelchair lifts) complying with 4.11 and applicable State or local codes shall be permitted to be used as part of an accessible route.

15.6.4.1 Location. Accessible routes shall be located within the boundary of the play area and shall connect ground level play components as required by 15.6.2.1 and 15.6.2.2 and elevated play components as required by 15.6.3, including entry and exit points of the play components.

15.6.4.2 Protrusions. Objects shall not protrude into ground level accessible routes at or below 80 in (2030 mm) above the ground or floor surface.

15.6.4.3 Clear Width. The clear width of accessible routes within play areas shall comply with 15.6.4.3.

15.6.4.3.1 Ground Level. The clear width of accessible routes at ground level shall be 60 in (1525 mm) minimum.

EXCEPTIONS: 1. In play areas less than 1,000 square feet, the clear width of accessible routes shall be permitted to be 44 in (1120 mm) minimum, provided that at least one turning space complying with 4.2.3 is provided where the restricted accessible route exceeds 30 feet (9.14 m) in length.

2. The clear width of accessible routes shall be permitted to be 36 in (915 mm) minimum for a distance of 60 in (1525 mm) maximum, provided that multiple reduced width segments are separated by segments that are 60 in (1525 mm) minimum in width and 60 in (1525 mm) minimum in length.

15.6.4.3.2 Elevated. The clear width of accessible routes connecting elevated play components shall be 36 in (915 mm).

EXCEPTIONS: 1. The clear width of accessible routes connecting elevated play components shall be permitted to be reduced to 32 in (815 mm) minimum for a distance of 24 in (610 mm) maximum provided that reduced width segments are separated by segments that are 48 in (1220 mm) minimum in length and 36 in (915 mm) minimum in width.

2. The clear width of transfer systems connecting elevated play components shall be permitted to be 24 in (610 mm) minimum.

15.6.4.4 Ramp Slope and Rise. Any part of an accessible route with a slope greater than 1:20 shall be considered a ramp and shall comply with 4.8, as modified by 15.6.4.4.

15.6.4.4.1 Ground Level. The maximum slope for ramps connecting ground level play components within the boundary of a play area shall be 1:16.

15.6.4.4.2 Elevated. Where a ramp connects elevated play components, the maximum rise of any ramp run shall be 12 in (305 mm).

15.6.4.5 Handrails. Where required on ramps, handrails shall comply with 4.8.5, as modified by 15.6.4.5.

EXCEPTIONS: 1. Handrails shall not be required at ramps located within ground level use zones.

2. Handrail extensions shall not be required.

15.6.4.5.1 Handrail Gripping Surface. Handrails shall have a diameter or width of 0.95 in (24.1 mm) minimum to 1.55 in (39.4 mm) maximum, or the shape shall provide an equivalent gripping surface.

15.6.4.5.2 Handrail Height. The top of handrail gripping surfaces shall be 20 in (510 mm) minimum to 28 in (710 mm) maximum above the ramp surface.

15.6.5* Transfer Systems. Where transfer systems are provided to connect elevated play components, the transfer systems shall comply with 15.6.5.

15.6.5.1 Transfer Platforms. Transfer platforms complying with 15.6.5.1 shall be provided where transfer is intended to be from a wheelchair or other mobility device (see Fig. 64).

Figure 64a shows a transfer plaform with a surface height 11 to 18 inches (280 to 455 mm) above the ground. Figure 64b shows in plan view a transfer platform 14 inches (335 mm) deep minimum and 24 inches (610 mm) wide, minimum; clear floor space that is 48 inches (1220 mm) long minimum is centered on this dimension parallel to the 24 in (610 mm) minimum long unobstructed side of the transfer platform.

15.6.5.1.1 Size. Platforms shall have a level surface 14 in (355 mm) minimum in depth and 24 in (610 mm) minimum in width.

15.6.5.1.2 Height. Platform surfaces shall be 11 in (280 mm) minimum to 18 in (455 mm) maximum above the ground or floor surface.

15.6.5.1.3 Transfer Space. A level space complying with 4.2.4 shall be centered on the 48 in (1220 mm) long dimension parallel to the 24 in (610 mm) minimum long unobstructed side of the transfer platform.

15.6.5.1.4 Transfer Supports. A means of support for transferring shall be provided.

15.6.5.2 Transfer Steps. Transfer steps complying with 15.6.5.2 shall be provided where movement is intended from a transfer platform to a level with elevated play components required to be located on an accessible route (see Fig. 65).

Figure 65(a) shows a transfer step 8 inches (205 mm) high maximum.  Figure 65(b) shows a transfer step that is 14 inches (355 mm) deep minimum and 24 inches (610 mm) long minimum.

15.6.5.2.1 Size. Transfer steps shall have a level surface 14 in (355 mm) minimum in depth and 24 in (610 mm) minimum in width.

15.6.5.2.2 Height. Each transfer step shall be 8 in (205 mm) maximum high.

15.6.5.2.3 Transfer Supports. A means of support for transferring shall be provided.

15.6.6* Play Components. Ground level play components located on accessible routes and elevated play components connected by ramps shall comply with 15.6.6.

15.6.6.1 Maneuvering Space. Maneuvering space complying with 4.2.3 shall be provided on the same level as the play components. Maneuvering space shall have a slope not steeper than 1:48 in all directions. The maneuvering space required for a swing shall be located immediately adjacent to the swing (see Fig. 66).

Figure 66 shows that maneuvering space in the form of a circular space or T-shaped space provided adjacent to swings.

15.6.6.2 Clear Floor or Ground Space. Clear floor or ground space shall be provided at the play components and shall be 30 in (760 mm) by 48 in (1220 mm) minimum. Clear floor or ground space shall have a slope not steeper than 1:48 in all directions.

15.6.6.3 Play Tables: Height and Clearances. Where play tables are provided, knee clearance 24 in (610 mm) high minimum, 17 in deep (430 mm) minimum, and 30 in (760 mm) wide minimum shall be provided. The tops of rims, curbs, or other obstructions shall be 31 in (785 mm) high maximum.

EXCEPTION: Play tables designed or constructed primarily for children ages 5 and under shall not be required to provide knee clearance if the clear floor or ground space required by 15.6.6.2 is arranged for a parallel approach and if the rim surface is 31 in (785 mm) high maximum.

15.6.6.4 Entry Points and Seats: Height. Where a play component requires transfer to the entry point or seat, the entry point or seat shall be 11 in (280 mm) minimum and 24 in (610mm) maximum above the clear floor or ground space.

EXCEPTION: The entry point of a slide shall not be required to comply with 15.6.6.4.

15.6.6.5 Transfer Supports. Where a play component requires transfer to the entry point or seat, a means of support for transferring shall be provided.

15.6.7* Ground Surfaces. Ground surfaces along accessible routes, clear floor or ground spaces, and maneuvering spaces within play areas shall comply with 4.5.1 and 15.6.7.

15.6.7.1 Accessibility. Ground surfaces shall comply with ASTM F 1951 Standard Specification for Determination of Accessibility of Surface Systems Under and Around Playground Equipment (see 2.3.2). Ground surfaces shall be inspected and maintained regularly and frequently to ensure continued compliance with ASTM F 1951.

15.6.7.2 Use Zones. If located within use zones, ground surfaces shall comply with ASTM F 1292 Standard Specification for Impact Attenuation of Surface Systems Under and Around Playground Equipment (see 2.3.2).

15.6.8 Soft Contained Play Structures. Soft contained play structures shall comply with 15.6.8.

15.6.8.1 Accessible Routes to Entry Points. Where three or fewer entry points are provided, at least one entry point shall be located on an accessible route. Where four or more entry points are provided, at least two entry points shall be located on an accessible route. Accessible routes shall comply with 4.3.

EXCEPTION: Transfer systems complying with 15.6.5 or platform lifts (wheelchair lifts) complying with 4.11 and applicable State or local codes shall be permitted to be used as part of an accessible route.

15.7 Sports Facilities. (Reserved).

15.8 Swimming Pools and Spas. (Reserved).


APPENDIX

A15.6.1 General. This section is to be applied during the design, construction, and alteration of play areas for children ages 2 and over. Play areas are the portion of a site where play components are provided. This section does not apply to other portions of a site where elements such as sports fields, picnic areas, or other gathering areas are provided. Those areas are addressed by other sections of ADAAG. Play areas may be located on exterior sites or within a building. Where separate play areas are provided within a site for children in specified age groups (e.g., preschool (ages 2 to 5) and school age (ages 5 to 12)), each play area must comply with this section. Where play areas are provided for the same age group on a site but are geographically separated (e.g., one is located next to a picnic area and another is located next to a softball field), they are considered separate play areas and each play area must comply with this section.

A15.6.2 Ground Level Play Components. A ground level play component is a play component approached and exited at the ground level. Examples of ground level play components include spring rockers, swings, diggers, and stand alone slides. When distinguishing between the different types of ground level play components, consider the general experience provided by the play component. Examples of different types of experiences include, but are not limited to, rocking, swinging, climbing, spinning, and sliding. A spiral slide may provide a slightly different experience from a straight slide, but sliding is the general experience and therefore a spiral slide is not considered a different type of play component than a straight slide.

The number of ground level play components is not dependent on the number of children who can play on the play component. A large seesaw designed to accommodate ten children at once is considered one ground level play component.

Where a large play area includes two or more composite play structures designed for the same age group, the total number of elevated play components on all the composite play structures must be added to determine the additional number and types of ground level play components that must be provided on an accessible route, and the type of accessible route (e.g., ramps or transfer systems) that must be provided to the elevated play components.

Ground level play components accessed by children with disabilities must be integrated in the play area. Designers should consider the optimal layout of ground level play components accessed by children with disabilities to foster interaction and socialization among all children. Grouping all ground level play components accessed by children with disabilities in one location is not considered integrated.

A15.6.3 Elevated Play Components. Elevated play components are approached above or below grade and are part of a composite play structure. A double or triple slide that is part of a composite play structure is one elevated play component. For purposes of this section, ramps, transfer systems, steps, decks, and roofs are not considered elevated play components. These elements are generally used to link other elements on a composite play structure. Although socialization and pretend play can occur on these elements, they are not primarily intended for play.

Some play components that are attached to a composite play structure can be approached or exited at the ground level or above grade from a platform or deck. For example, a climber attached to a composite play structure can be approached or exited at the ground level or above grade from a platform or deck on a composite play structure. Play components that are attached to a composite play structure and can be approached from a platform or deck (e.g., climbers and overhead play components), are considered elevated play components. These play components are not considered ground level play components also, and do not count toward the requirements in 15.6.2 regarding the number of ground level play components that must be located on an accessible route.

A15.6.4 Accessible Routes. Accessible routes within the boundary of the play area must comply with 15.6.4. Accessible routes connecting the play area to parking, drinking fountains, and other elements on a site must comply with 4.3. Accessible routes provide children who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices the opportunity to access play components. Accessible routes should coincide with the general circulation path used within the play area. Careful placement and consideration of the layout of accessible routes will enhance the ability of children with disabilities to socialize and interact with other children.

Where possible, designers and operators are encouraged to provide wider ground level accessible routes within the play area or consider designing the entire ground surface to be accessible. Providing more accessible spaces will enhance the integration of all children within the play area and provide access to more play components. A maximum slope of 1:16 is required for ground level ramps; however, a lesser slope will enhance access for those children who have difficulty negotiating the 1:16 maximum slope. Handrails are not required on ramps located within ground level use zones.

Where a stand alone slide is provided, an accessible route must connect the base of the stairs at the entry point, and the exit point of the slide. A ramp or transfer system to the top of the slide is not required. Where a sand box is provided, an accessible route must connect to the border of the sand box. Accessibility to the sand box would be enhanced by providing a transfer system into the sand or by providing a raised sand table with knee clearance complying with 15.6.6.3.

Elevated accessible routes must connect the entry and exit points of 50 percent of elevated play components. Ramps are preferred over transfer systems since not all children who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices may be able to use or may choose not to use transfer systems. Where ramps connect elevated play components, the maximum rise of any ramp run is limited to12 inches. Where possible, designers and operators are encouraged to provide ramps with a lesser slope than the 1:12 maximum. Berms or sculpted dirt may be used to provide elevation and may be part of an accessible route to composite play structures.

Platform lifts complying with 4.11 and applicable State and local codes are permitted as a part of an accessible route. Because lifts must be independently operable, operators should carefully consider the appropriateness of their use in unsupervised settings.

A15.6.5 Transfer Systems. Transfer systems are a means of accessing composite play structures. Transfer systems generally include a transfer platform and a series of transfer steps. Children who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices transfer from their wheelchair or mobility devices onto the transfer platform and lift themselves up or down the transfer steps and scoot along the decks or platforms to access elevated play components. Some children may be unable or may choose not to use transfer systems. Where transfer systems are provided, consideration should be given to the distance between the transfer system and the elevated play components. Moving between a transfer platform and a series of transfer steps requires extensive exertion for some children. Designers should minimize the distance between the points where a child transfers from a wheelchair or mobility device and where the elevated play components are located. Where elevated play components are used to connect to another elevated play component in lieu of an accessible route, careful consideration should be used in the selection of the play components used for this purpose. Transfer supports are required on transfer platforms and transfer steps to assist children when transferring. Some examples of supports include a rope loop, a loop type handle, a slot in the edge of a flat horizontal or vertical member, poles or bars, or D rings on the corner posts.

A15.6.6 Play Components. Clear floor or ground spaces, maneuvering spaces, and accessible routes may overlap within play areas. A specific location has not been designated for the clear floor or ground spaces or maneuvering spaces, except swings, because each play component may require that the spaces be placed in a unique location. Where play components include a seat or entry point, designs that provide for an unobstructed transfer from a wheelchair or other mobility device are recommended. This will enhance the ability of children with disabilities to independently use the play component.

When designing play components with manipulative or interactive features, consider appropriate reach ranges for children seated in wheelchairs. The following table provides guidance on reach ranges for children seated in wheelchairs. These dimensions apply to either forward or side reaches. The reach ranges are appropriate for use with those play components that children seated in wheelchairs may access and reach. Where transfer systems provide access to elevated play components, the reach ranges are not appropriate.

Children's Reach Ranges

Forward or Side Reach Ages 3 and 4 Ages 5 through 8 Ages 9 through 12
High (maximum) 36 in (915 mm) 40 in (1015 mm) 44 in (1120 mm)
Low (minimum) 20 in (510 mm) 18 in (455 mm) 16 in (405 mm)

Where a climber is located on a ground level accessible route, some of the climbing rings should be within the reach ranges. A careful balance of providing access to play components but not eliminating the challenge and nature of the activity is encouraged.

A15.6.7 Ground Surfaces. Ground surfaces along clear floor or ground spaces, maneuvering spaces, and accessible routes must comply with the ASTM F 1951 Standard Specification for Determination of Accessibility of Surface Systems Under and Around Playground Equipment. The ASTM F 1951 standard is available from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959, telephone (610) 832-9585. The ASTM F 1951 standard may be ordered online from ASTM (http://www.astm.org). The ASTM 1951 standard determines the accessibility of a surface by measuring the work required to propel a wheelchair across the surface. The standard includes tests of effort for both straight ahead and turning movement, using a force wheel on a rehabilitation wheelchair as the measuring device. To meet the standard, the force required must be less than that required to propel the wheelchair up a ramp with a 1:14 slope. When evaluating ground surfaces, operators should request information about compliance with the ASTM F 1951 standard.

Ground surfaces must be inspected and maintained regularly and frequently to ensure continued compliance with the ASTM F 1951 standard. The type of surface material selected and play area use levels will determine the frequency of inspection and maintenance activities.

When using a combination of surface materials, careful design is necessary to provide appropriate transitions between the surfaces. Where a rubber surface is installed on top of asphalt to provide impact attenuation, the edges of the rubber surface may create a change in level between the adjoining ground surfaces. Where the change in level is greater than ½ inch, a sloped surface with a maximum slope of 1:12 must be provided. Products are commercially available that provide a 1:12 slope at transitions. Transitions are also necessary where the combination of surface materials include loose fill products. Where edging is used to prevent the loose surface from moving onto the firmer surface, the edging may create a tripping hazard. Where possible, the transition should be designed to allow for a smooth and gradual transition between the two surfaces.