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Access Board to Host Two Free Webinar This Week

webinar_1

One is on accessible playground surface materials, and the other is on guidelines on federal outdoor developed areas.
The U.S. Access Board and the National Center on Accessibility will conduct a free webinar on accessible play surfaces and the results of
A Longitudinal Study of Playground Surfaces to Evaluate Accessibility
on November 7, from 2:30–4:00 p.m. (ET).


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In 2008, the National Center on Accessibility (NCA) at Indiana University initiated a longitudinal study of playground surfaces with research funding by the U.S. Access Board. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a variety of playground surfaces, their costs, and their ability to meet accessibility requirements while documenting deficiencies that arise upon initial installation or those that might require maintenance after a period of use. Results from the recently completed study revealed the importance of proper installation and regular maintenance. The project assessed the performance of different surfacing materials at 35 new playgrounds over a three-year period. Surface materials tested include poured-in-place rubber, engineered wood fiber, rubber tiles, and hybrid surface systems.

The study revealed that within 12 months of installation, each type of surface material was found to have accessibility, safety, or maintenance issues. For example, poured-in-place rubber installed improperly at one site was not resilient enough to meet safety standards for impact attenuation, while surface tiles at another site had puncture holes, buckling, and separating. Findings from the project indicate that:

Loose fill engineered wood fiber had the greatest number of deficiencies, including excessive running slope, cross slope, and change in level, which became prevalent within a year of installation.

  • Engineered wood fiber surfaces also scored lower on firmness and stability ratings than unitary surfaces, such as tile and poured-in-place rubber.
  •  Poured-in-place rubber, tiles, and hybrid surface systems also exhibited deficiencies relating to excessive running and cross slopes, changes in level, and openings two to three years after installation.
  •  Some surfaces with fewer accessibility deficiencies and higher firmness and stability ratings did not meet the safety standards for impact attenuation.

These and other conclusions are discussed in a report on the project, A Longitudinal Study of Playground Surfaces to Evaluate Accessibility, which is available on NCA’s website. For more information on the project, contact Jennifer Skulski, CPSI, principal investigator, at jskulski@indiana.edu or 812-856-4422, or Peggy Greenwell of the Access Board at greenwell@access-board.gov, 202-272-0017 (v), or 202-272-0075 (TTY).

For more information, including registration instructions, visit www.accessibilityonline.org.

The Access Board will also host a webinar on the accessibility guidelines for outdoor areas developed by the federal government on Friday, November 8, 2:30–4:00 p.m. (ET).

In September 2013, the U.S. Access Board issued accessibility guidelines for outdoor areas developed by the federal government, including trails, picnic and camping areas, and beach access routes. In this webinar, board representatives will review scoping and technical requirements of the new guidelines, which will become effective as part of the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards on November 25. The rule applies to federal agencies that develop outdoor areas for recreational purposes, including the National Park Service, the Forest Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Bureau of Reclamation.

For more information, including registration instructions, visit www.accessibilityonline.org.

These webinars are free and LA CES credits are available. Use ASLA’s Accessible Design Issue Brief to learn more about the U.S. Access Board’s Accessible Design Standards and future webinars.



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