Our Dream Playground
Our new step-by-step project planner offers the money and know-how to make your playground dreams come true.
Tools and Resources
Get funding, learn the nuts and bolts of building a great place to play, and improve your local playground.
Become a Community Partner
Build a great place to play for your community with the help of your neighbors, friends, KaBOOM! and our Funding Partners.
Save Play in Your Community
Get tips, ideas, and inspiration for making your community more playful.
Playful City USA
Our Playful City USA program recognizes cities and towns that embrace play as a priority.
Our collection of books will inspire you to bring more play to your family, neighborhood, and community at large.
What We Do
KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit dedicated to saving play for America’s children.
Who We Are
We are peppy, purple-adorned people who passionately promote the power of play!
Partner With Us
Our partners help us to create new playgrounds and to spread the word about the importance of PLAY.
ADA Requirements and Resources
In 1990, the United States passed historic legislation requiring that public spaces be made more accessible to people with disabilities. In 2000, the U.S. Access Board published its official guidelines pertaining to play areas. Like all Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines, these should be considered minimum—not maximum—standards to follow. By incorporating universal design principles you will exceed ADA and create a play environment that really allows EVERYONE to play!
Some basics according to the ADA play area guidelines:
- You must provide access to at least one of each of the types of ground-level equipment at your play area.
- You must provide access by ramp or transfer system to at least half of the elevated structures at your play area.
- The number of accessible ground-level components required depends on the number of elevated structures provided.
- Surfacing on the way to, under, and around play structures must acceptably cushion falls.
- The surfaces must accommodate people using wheelchairs.
- For exact guidelines and specifics, ask your playground manufacturer and read the ADA guidelines here.
Important definitions used in the guidelines, provided by Diana S. Erickson, Esq., Staff Attorney, Disabilities Law Program of the Community Legal Aid Society of Delaware:
- A play component is defined as 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.
- A ground level play component is a play component that is approached and exited at the ground level. Examples include swings, spring rockers, sand boxes, and panels with educational toys.
- An elevated play component is 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 and [sic] integrated unit providing more than one play activity.
- Examples include climbers, overhead play equipment, double slides, or tubes approached from a platform or deck.
- These play components may be made accessible through ramps or/and through transfer systems. An accessible route is defined as a continuous unobstructed path connecting all accessible elements and spaces of a building or facility. (http://www.dati.org/newsletter/issues/2004n2/playground.html)
Resources on ADA guidelines for playgrounds:
Summary of the guidelines: http://www.access-board.gov/play/overview.htm
The guidelines: http://www.access-board.gov/play/finalrule.htm
National Center on Accessibility. (2003). Access to play areas. http://www.indiana.edu/~nca/playgrounds/play-areas.shtml
(Photo courtesy of Landscape Structures)