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Applying the ADA: Designing for The 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design in Multiple Building Types by Marcela A. Rhoads

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7

Amusement Parks and Play Areas

by Marcela Abadi Rhoads, AIA RAS

Before the 2010 ADA design standards was published and adopted by the Department of Justice as civil rights law of the land for the disabled, children were ignored. Everything was designed for adults, and all the heights and maneuvering guidelines were only for adults. Disabled children didn't have guidelines for restrooms that were suitable for their heights or drinking fountains that they could reach. Not only were they not taken into account for building elements, but they weren't considered when creating places to recreate. Spaces such as playgrounds, amusement parks, and swimming pools were not part of the scope of the ADA when it was originally written. The 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design includes in the requirements scoping for recreation facilities, and they also have requirements for children. Chapter 10 of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design deals with recreational facilities, which include requirements for children also.

In order to explain how to apply the ADA to these recreation facilities, we will showcase the world's first ultra-accessible family fun park specifically designed with special needs individuals, Morgan's Wonderland located in San Antonio, Texas. The unique and colorful 25-acre park is the brainchild of Gordon Hartman and began in 2009 before the 2010 ADA Standards were adopted and required access to amusement rides and play areas for children in wheelchairs.

“Morgan's Wonderland ...

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