The Access Board is an independent Federal agency devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities. The Board has developed accessibility guidelines for newly constructed and altered play areas. These guidelines establish minimum accessibility requirements for newly constructed and altered play areas covered by both the Americans with Disabilities Act and Architectural Barriers Act. This course is not a collection of playground designs. Rather, it provides specifications for elements within a play area to create a minimum level of accessibility for children with disabilities.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a comprehensive civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. The ADA requires that newly constructed and altered state and local government facilities, places of public accommodation, and commercial facilities be readily accessible to, and useable by, individuals with disabilities. Once these guidelines are adopted as enforceable standards by the Department of Justice, all newly construct and altered play areas covered by the ADA will be required to comply.
The Architectural Barriers Act requires access to facilities design, built, or altered with Federal money or lease by Federal agencies. Several agencies are responsible for maintaining standards under the ABA: the Department of Defense, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the General Services Administration, and the U.S. Postal Service. To date, the General Services Administration (GSA) has adopted the play area accessibility guidelines applying to newly constructed and altered play areas in Federal facilities commencing after May 8, 2006.