TM 5-803-11/AFJMAN 32-10139
stable, and slip-resistant. It allows for ease of use by
persons using a wheelchair, walker, cane, or
This chapter describes general criteria for design-
crutches. An accessible route of travel connecting all
ing play areas that are accessible to children and
accessible activities within the play area will be
adults with disabilities. It presents guidelines and
standards that apply to the design of children's out-
(3) Promote Interaction Among Users. To en-
door play areas. In addition, information to assist
courage social interaction between users with vary-
designers in creating an accessible design program
ing abilities, less challenging play activities will be
and guidance for creating accessible play area com-
provided in the same area as the most challenging
ponents is provided.
equipment or components.
8-2. Accessibility Criteria.
8-3. Disability Types.
Federal guidelines describe accessibility stan-
Play area diversity increases play options for all
dards for adults, but are not always appropriate in
children, including those with disabilities. Descrip-
children's play areas. Criteria and policies for acces-
tions of general types of disabilities that should be
sible play areas follow:
considered when designing children's outdoor play
a. Accessibility Standards for Adults. Play areas
will comply with the Uniform Federal Accessibility
a. Physical Disability With Upper Body Strength.
Standards (UFAS) (Federal Standard 795). In cases
Some individuals with physical disabilities have
where the Americans With Disabilities Act Accessi-
limited mobility, but have upper body strength that
bility Guidelines (ADAAG, 36 CFR 1191) provides
may allow transferring onto play equipment, using
equal or greater accessibility than UFAS, the
a horizontal ladder, or playing a manipulative
ADAAG will be met.
game. Examples include a paraplegic who uses a
b. Accessibility Guidelines for Children. UFAS
wheelchair for mobility or an individual who walks
and ADAAG requirements are based on adult-sized
with a cane or crutches.
dimensions. When these dimensions are appropri-
b. Physical Disability Without Upper Body
ate for children's outdoor play areas, accessibility
Strength. Some individuals with physical disabili-
standards for adults are referenced in this manual.
ties have limited use of their hands and arms. Use
In many cases, however, design criteria based on
of both the upper and lower body maybe affected, as
child-sized dimensions should be used for the
is the case with a quadriplegic or a person severely
proper functioning of the play area. These dimen-
affected by cerebral palsy. Other individuals may
sions are provided where needed.
have use of the legs but have limited arm use, such
c. Policy on Play Area Access for Children and
as a person whose limbs were amputated.
Adults with Disabilities. Play is a primary means
c. Visual Disability. Individuals with limited vi-
through which children learn and develop. Both
sion include people with a wide range of visual limi-
tations. Some people with limited vision can read
with and without disabilities are best supported by
large print, and others cannot distinguish light
a diverse, challenging play area. Every part of the
from darkness. Few individuals totally lack all vi-
play area may not be accessible to all of its users,
but the social experience provided should be acces-
d. Auditory Disability. People with auditory dis-
sible to everyone.
abilities are unable to respond normally to sound in
(1) Provide Like or Similar Experiences. When
most social situations. Abilities range from mild
hearing loss to profound deafness.
more than one play activity of the same type is
provided in close proximity, one will be accessible. If
e. Developmental Disability. For people described
one activity of its kind is provided, it will be acces-
as developmentally disabled, learning ability devel-
sible. For example, if two spring rocking animals
ops more slowly than average. Reasoning and judg-
are provided in the same part of the play area, one
ment capabilities may also develop at a slower pace.
should be accessible. If only one spring animal is
For most people with developmental disabilities, it
provided, it should be accessible.
is not the ability to learn that is lacking, but the
speed and ease with which things are learned that
(2) Provide an Accessible Path of Travel. An
is impeded. The range of capabilities in people with
accessible path of travel is a pathway that is firm,