Chapter 2: Description of the Guidelines

2.1 Final Guidelines

Table 2-1 outlines the scoping and technical provisions of the final guidelines. The guidelines only apply to newly designed and newly constructed play areas and existing play areas that are altered.

Table 2-1. Final Guidelines

Section 15.6.1 General
1. Application

Newly designed and newly constructed play areas for children ages 2 and over and altered portions of existing play areas must comply with ADAAG 4, except as modified or otherwise provided by 15.6. Where separate play areas are provided within a site for specified age groups, each play area must comply with 15.6. Where play areas are designed or constructed in phases, the section is applied so that when each successive addition is completed, the entire play area complies with 15.6

2. Exception - Family child care facility where proprietor actually resides

15.6 does not apply to play areas located in family child care facilities where proprietor actually resides

3. Exception - Relocation of play components to create safe use zones

15.6 does not apply where play components in existing play areas are relocated to create safe use zones, provided that the surface is not changed or extended more than one use zone

4. Exception - Alterations

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

5. Exception - Amusement attractions

15.6.1 through 15.6.7 do not apply to amusement attractions in amusement or theme parks

6. Exception - Protruding objects

Protruding objects are not required to comply with ADAAG 4.4 within boundary of play area

7. Exception - Stairs

Stairs are not required to comply with ADAAG 4.9

15.6.2 Ground Level Components
1. General

At least one of each type of ground components provided must be on accessible route and comply with 15.6.6

2. Additional number and types

Minimum number of ground components must equal at least approximately one-third of elevated components, including a minimum number of types (see Table 15.6.2.2 of guidelines), and must be on accessible route and comply with 15.6.6. Ground components provided to comply with paragraph 1 satisfy paragraph2

3. Exception - Ramp access

Paragraph 2 does not apply if at least 50% of elevated components are connected by a ramp and at least 3 of these elevated components are different types

4. Integration

Ground components required by paragraphs 1 and 2 must be integrated in the play area

15.6.3 Elevated Components
1. Number

At least 50% of elevated components must be on an accessible route. Elevated components connected by a ramp must comply with 15.6.6

15.6.4 Accessible Route
1. General

At least one accessible route complying with ADAAG 4.3, as modified by 15.6.4, must be provided

2. Exception - Transfer system

Elevated components are permitted to be connected by a transfer system complying with 15.6.5. Where 20 or more elevated components are provided, no more than 25% are permitted to be connected by transfer system

3. Exception - Transfer system and connecting elevated components

Where a transfer system is provided, an elevated component is permitted to connect to another elevated component

4. Exception - Platform/wheelchair lifts

Platform/wheelchair lifts are permitted

15.6.4.1 Accessible Route - Location
1. Location

At least one accessible route within the boundary of a play area must connect ground and elevated components as required by 15.6.2 and 15.6.3, including entry and exit points

15.6.4.2 Accessible Route - Protrusions
1. Protrusions

Objects must not protrude into ground level accessible routes at or below 80 inches above the surface

15.6.4.3 Accessible Route - Clear Width
1. Ground level routes

Ground level accessible routes must be 60 inches minimum clear width

2. Exception - Play areas less than 1,000 square feet

Play areas less than 1,000 square feet are permitted to have accessible routes 44 inches minimum clear width, provided that at least one turning space complying with ADAAG 4.2.3 is provided where the restricted accessible route exceeds 30 feet

3. Exception - Reduced width at ground level routes

Ground level accessible routes are permitted to be reduced to 36 inches minimum for a distance of 60 inches, provided that multiple reduced width segments are separated by segments 60 inches minimum in length and 60 inches minimum in width

4. Elevated routes

Accessible routes connecting elevated components must be 36 inches minimum clear width

5. Exception - Reduced width at elevated routes

Elevated accessible routes are permitted to be reduced to 32 inches minimum for a distance of 24 inches maximum, provided that reduced width segments are separated by segments 48 inches minimum in length and 36 inches minimum in width

6. Exception - Transfer systems

Transfer systems are permitted to be 24 inches minimum

15.6.4.4 Accessible Route - Ramp Slope and Rise
1. General

Any part of an accessible route with a slope greater than 1:20 is a ramp and must comply with ADAAG 4.8, as modified by 15.6.4.4

2. Ground level

Maximum slope for ramps connecting ground components is 1:16

3. Elevated

Maximum rise of any ramp run connecting elevated components is 12 inches

15.6.4.5 Accessible Route - Handrails
1. General

Where required on ramps, handrails must comply with ADAAG 4.8.5, as modified by 15.6.4.5

2. Exception - Use zones

Handrails are not required at ramps located within ground level use zones

3. Exception - Handrail extensions

Handrail extensions are not required

4. Gripping surface

Handrails must have a diameter or width of 0.95 inches minimum to 1.55 inches maximum, or the shape must provide an equivalent gripping surface

5. Height

The top of the handrail gripping surfaces must be 20 inches minimum to 28 inches maximum above a ramp surface

15.6.5 Transfer Systems
1. General

Where transfer systems are provided to connect elevated components, they must comply with 15.6.5

15.6.5.1 Transfer Platforms
1. General

Transfer platforms must be provided where transfer is intended to be from a wheelchair or other mobility device

2. Size

Platforms must have a level surface 14 inches minimum in depth and 24 inches minimum in width

3. Height

Platform surfaces must be 11 inches minimum to 18 inches maximum above the ground or floor surface

4. Transfer space

A level space complying with ADAAG 4.2.4 must be centered on the 48 inch long dimension parallel to the 24 inch minimum long unobstructed side of the platform

5. Transfer supports

A means of support for transferring must be provided

15.6.5.2 Transfer Steps
1. General

Transfer steps must be provided where movement is intended from a transfer platform to a level with elevated components required to be located on an accessible route

2. Size

Steps must have a level surface 14 inches minimum in depth and 24 inches minimum in width

3. Height

Each step must be 8 inches maximum in height

4. Transfer supports

A means of support for transferring must be provided

16.6.6 Play Components
1. General

Ground components located on an accessible route and elevated components connected by a ramp must comply with 15.6.6

2. Maneuvering space

Maneuvering space complying with ADAAG 4.2.3 must be provided on the same level as the components and not have a slope steeper than 1:48 in all directions. For swings, the space must be located immediately adjacent to the swing

3. Clear floor or ground space

Clear floor or ground space must be provided at the components, be 30 x 40 inches minimum, and not have the slope steeper than 1:48 in all directions

4. Play table height and clearances

Play tables must provide knee clearance 24 inches high minimum, 17 inches deep minimum, and 30 inches wide minimum. Tops of rims, curbs, or other obstructions must be 31 inches high maximum

5. Exception - Play tables for children age five and younger

Play tables primarily for children age five and younger are not required to provide knee clearance if the clear floor or ground space is arranged for a parallel approach and if the rim surface is 31 inches high maximum

6. Entry point and seat heights

When transfer is required to the entry point or seat, the entry point or seat must be 11 inches minimum and 24 inches maximum above the clear ground or floor space

7. Exception - Slide entry points

Slide entry points are not required to comply

8. Transfer supports

A means of support for transferring must be provided when transfer to entry point or seat is required

15.6.7 Ground Surfaces
1. General

Ground surfaces along accessible routes, clear floor or ground spaces, and maneuvering spaces within play areas must comply with ADAAG 4.5.1 and 15.6.7

2. Accessibility

Ground surfaces must comply with ASTM F 1951-99 Standard Specification for Determination of Accessibility of Surface Systems Under and Around Playground Equipment. Ground surfaces must be inspected and maintained regularly and frequently to ensure continued compliance with ASTM F 1951-99

3. Use zones

Ground surfaces within use zones must comply with ASTM F 1292-96 Standard Specification for Impact Attenuation of Surface Systems Under and Around Playground Equipment

15.6.8 Soft Contained Play Structures
1. Structure with three or fewer entry points

At least one entry point must be located on an accessible route

2. Structure with four or more entry points

At least two entry points must be located on an accessible route

3. Exception - Transfer systems and platform/wheelchair lifts

Transfer systems complying with 15.6.5 and platform/wheelchair lifts complying with ADAAG 4.11 and applicable State or local codes are permitted

2.2 Changes from Proposed Rule

Based on public comments in response to the proposed rule, the Access Board has modified several provisions in the final guidelines that will reduce the cost of the guidelines. Table 2-2 outlines these changes between the proposed rule and final guidelines.

A provision has been added to the final guidelines to provide that where play areas are designed or constructed in phases, the guidelines are to be applied so that when each successive addition is completed, the entire play area complies with the guidelines. Another provision has been added to provide that ground surfaces along accessible routes, clear floor or ground spaces, and maneuvering spaces be inspected and maintained regularly and frequently to ensure continued compliance with the ASTM F 1951-99 Standard Specification for Determination of Accessibility of Surface Systems Under and Around Playground Equipment. The costs of this provision is further examined in Chapter 4.

Other provisions in the final guidelines have been revised and reorganized for greater clarity, but those changes will not generally affect the cost and are not included in Table 2-2.

Table 2-2. Changes Between Proposed Rule and Final Guidelines

Final Guidelines: 15.6 does not apply to play areas located in family child care facilities where the proprietor actually resides

Proposed Rule: No exception

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

Proposed Rule: No exception

Final Guidelines: 15.6.1 through 15.6.7 do not apply to amusement attractions in amusement or theme parks

Proposed Rule: No exception

Final Guidelines: Stairs are not required to comply with ADAAG 4.9

Proposed Rule: No exception

Final Guidelines: Where elevated components are provided, minimum number of ground components provided must equal at least approximately one-third of the elevated components, including a minimum number of types. See Table 15.6.2.2 of guidelines. These ground level components must be on an accessible route and comply with 15.6.6

Proposed Rule: Where elevated components are provided, minimum number of ground components provided must equal at least one-half of the elevated components. These ground level components must be on an accessible route and comply with comparable technical provisions

Final Guidelines: If at least 50% of elevated components are connected by a ramp and at least 3 of these elevated components are different types, minimum number of ground level components (see above) are not required

Proposed Rule: If 100% of elevated components are connected by a ramp, minimum number of ground level components (see above) are not required

Final Guidelines: Accessible routes connecting elevated components are not required to comply with provision requiring objects not to protrude into accessible routes at or below 80 inches above the surface

Proposed Rule: No exception

Final Guidelines: Transfer systems connecting elevated play components are permitted to be 24 inches minimum clear width

Proposed Rule: No exception

Final Guidelines: Handrail extensions are not required

Proposed Rule: No exception

Final Guidelines: Reach ranges included as advisory information in the appendix. Knee clearance and height for play tables included in guidelines

Proposed Rule: Reach ranges included in guidelines