The Standard addresses two areas. First it identifies what is to be accessible for those persons with disabilities, at both ground level and above ground levels of the playground structure. Second, the Standard spells out the necessary specifications for how this is to be achieved. Playground equipment suppliers are familiar with these two aspects that make up the Standard and will incorporate the various requirements into community project plans just as they do with safety standards.
The Standard was developed in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act: Accessible Play Areas Guideline. Extensive work was put into analyzing the American Guideline for a fit with the Edmonton context. The Edmonton Standard was then successfully piloted over two seasons eight sites throughout the city including Riverdale and Homesteader parks. Based on learnings from the pilots, the final Edmonton Play Area Accessibility Design Standard was completed and approved in October 2004.
All playground equipment suppliers approved by the City are familiar with the Standard. They will incorporate the requirements into your equipment design plan as a matter of course. City design staff are also working with the community and suppliers to ensure that plans meet the requirements of the Standard.
A major component of the Standard is accessible surfacing. We have piloted a number of surfacing materials and have found that these materials are slightly more costly than sand. Over a 15 year period, however, these costs will be covered due to reduced maintenance.
Yes. To offset expected additional costs, the City is providing support funding for the next two years. There are also several grants available to leverage this funding for additional supporting dollars that may be required. Your CRC can direct you to these sources. Finally, City designers will work with suppliers to offset some of the costs through the application of Universal Design techniques.
Most definitely! Suppliers have an array of accessible playground equipment features. These are outlined in their catalogues which are available upon request. Some communities are also opting to go with fully accessible surfacing on their sites.