Accessible Playgrounds for All Children
We make it easy for schools, parks, and architects to offer inclusive playgrounds that accommodate your short and long-term budget and timeline. Our team is well-versed in federal ADA requirements for playgrounds as well as other inclusive equipment and features. We find the best ADA playground equipment for your site, prioritize accessible updates, and use other inclusive practices for sensory playgrounds.
While offering an ADA compliant playground is the right thing to do, it is also legally required. In fact, it is the only thing in playgrounds that is the law. A playground should be a place for all children to have fun, and we can help ensure your playground is inclusive of all students, children, and community members.
Inclusive Playground vs ADA Playground
An ADA-compliant playground complies with federal regulations, such as ASTM 1951 for playground surfacing. Inclusive playgrounds take a step further to consider accessibility for all abilities, including wheelchairs, walkers, autism, and sensory processing disorders (SPD). Inclusive play considers color, texture, sound, and upper or lower body use in addition to ADA playground requirements for surfacing, pathways, borders, and ramps. At SafetyFirst, we focus on inclusive playgrounds so all children can enjoy their park or school playgrounds.
The Best Inclusive Play for Your Playgrounds
ASTM 1951 Surfacing
We offer Nature’sPlus, our engineered wood fiber surfacing that passes ASTM 1951 for ADA Accessibility, as a leading, long-lasting playground surfacing on the market.
Customized Surfacing and Pathways
We will plan and install custom ADA accessibility pathways that provide access for wheelchairs and other mobility devices while complying with fall height requirements under high events. Using a hybrid plan of poured in place (PIP) and Nature’sPlus surfacing, we offer accessible playgrounds while remaining budget-conscious.
Preferred Equipment from Different Vendors
Since we are a playground maintenance company instead of playground equipment vendors, we find the ideal playground equipment from multiple different vendors. We manage sourcing, ordering, and installing all your ADA playground equipment.
Equity Between Your School’s Playgrounds
As your school district’s playground partner, we evaluate all your playground sites and fill inclusive-related gaps across each in order to maintain equity.
Inclusive Park and School Playgrounds
We work with parks and municipalities, school districts, and architects and engineers across the Midwest to provide inclusive playgrounds. Our team will evaluate your existing playgrounds for updates that will comply with your budget, now and in the future. From planning, installing, and repairing inclusive playgrounds, we are your partner for every stage of the process.
For architects and engineers, we are your playground contractor for new builds or expansion projects. While you focus on the overall project, we will manage the playground to accommodate your client’s inclusive playground needs.
Our Inclusive Playground Process
1. Discuss your needs and budget
We will discuss your inclusive playground goals and budget during our initial meeting so our recommendations comply with your short and long-term resources.
2. Assess your playground
We evaluate your playground surfacing, equipment, and all other components of an ADA and inclusive playground to make a complete report.
3. Establish your inclusive playground goals
Based on our evaluation, we’ll present our findings and recommendations to collaboratively determine what we want to focus on now and in the future.
4. Gather quotes from manufacturers
We manage all aspects of your playground project, including contacting each manufacturer for repair parts, equipment costs, and delivery timelines.
5. Schedule and execute
We offer flexible, on-site services to work around your school, park, or construction schedule. Relying on our experience, we ensure all installs, repairs, or updates are efficient and on time.
How Much Does an Inclusive Playground Cost
While complying with ADA rules is the law and the right thing to do, it can increase the price of installs or repairs. Yet, there is not a one size fits all solution when it comes to providing an ADA accessible playground. You can still offer a compliant and inclusive playground while staying within budget.
Our team at SafetyFirst holds inclusive playgrounds to a high standard, and that’s why we know how to offer accessible play areas that don’t break the bank. We want to make sure all schools and parks provide accessible playgrounds, so we’ve developed plans and strategies that make it affordable while elevating the level of accessibility.
Inclusive Playground FAQs
What is an inclusive playground?
An inclusive playground accommodates the abilities of all children including, but not limited to, wheelchairs, walkers, autism, and sensory processing disorders (SPD). Inclusive playgrounds integrate sensory and tactical experiences such as color, texture, sound, and upper or lower body equipment in addition to ADA requirements to offer equal stimulation and enjoyment.
Do I need to use poured in place (PIP) surfacing to be ADA-compliant?
At SafetyFirst, we work with a variety of ASTM 1951 compliant playground surfacing to offer wheelchair accessible playgrounds. We provide hybrid playground surfacing using different materials, such as PIP and engineered wood fiber, to provide fully accessible and budget-friendly playgrounds.
Can I create a separate playground area for ADA accessibility?
An inclusive playground is not considered inclusive if there is a designated accessible play area separate from the rest of the playground. Creating a cluster of ADA accessible events is the opposite of inclusiveness. It confines all ADA equipment and surfacing to a single area, thus not allowing children to access the other parts of the playground. To truly offer an inclusive playground, the playground as a whole must include accessible play areas.
Is your playground inclusive of all children and abilities?
I have been using SafetyFirst surfacing material in my district’s playgrounds for several years now. We have been very impressed with the quality and impact attenuation of this product. I would highly recommend it for any organization looking for a quality, long lasting product for their playground surfacing needs.
Facilities and Safety Coordinator
Eden Prairie Schools, ISD 272
Supervisor of Buildings & Grounds
Roseville Schools, ISD 623
Parks and Forestry Superintendent
City of Brookings, SD