The requirements in this Section are performance-based, outlining a minimum level of accessibility. This approach provides organizations with the flexibility to address local community needs, spatial parameters and budget considerations. Organizations have the flexibility to design play spaces that are creative, fun and provide challenges for children of all ages and abilities.
The requirements of this Section apply to newly constructed and redeveloped play spaces that an organization intends to maintain. The requirements of this section do not apply to small private or not-for-profit sector organizations.
Consultation Requirements for the Design of Outdoor Play Spaces
Before developing a new outdoor play space or redeveloping an existing one, obligated organizations are required to consult with the public and people with disabilities on the needs of children and their caregivers with a variety of disabilities. Municipalities must also consult with their accessibility advisory committee if they have one.
The consultation process must address requirements for accessible play elements for children and caregivers with various disabilities including, but not limited to, sensory and active play components.
A toolkit is available through the Rick Hansen Foundation titled “Let's Play: Creating Inclusive Play Spaces for Children with Physical Disabilities”, which provides examples of better practice in design and consultation.
Another resource, available from the Ontario Parks Association, is the Playability Tool Kit: Building Accessible Playspaces, which provides guidelines for planning and action, technical data, case studies, and other innovative ideas.
Another excellent resource for the design of inclusive play areas is a standard from the Canadian Standards Association, CAN/CSA-Z614-07 (R2012) - Children’s Playspaces and Equipment - particularly Annex H, “Children’s playspaces and equipment that are accessible to persons with disabilities”.
Requirements for Outdoor Play Spaces
- Accessibility features
- Incorporate accessibility features, such as sensory and active play components, into the design of outdoor play spaces. These should address the needs of children and caregivers with various disabilities.
- Firm and stable, with characteristics to reduce impact and injuries. Note that the impactattenuating surface is required for the play space itself, but not the surrounding area or the paths/ walkways to the play space.
- Provide sufficient clearance throughout the play space so that children and caregivers with various disabilities can move through, in and around the outdoor play space.