T. 6/15/93 DJ 204-016-00013 Dear Mr.

(b) (6) This is in response to your letter concerning requirements for playgrounds under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to entities that are subject to the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding provisions applicable to playgrounds. However, this technical assistance does not constitute a determination by the Department of Justice of your rights or responsibilities under the ADA and does not constitute a binding determination by the Department of Justice. Under section 35.151(c) of the ADA title II regulations, public entities, such as schools, can choose to design facilities either in accordance with the Americans, with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines or in accordance with the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards. (A copy of the title II regulations is enclosed.) Neither of those standards, however, contains specific sections on playgrounds. Guidelines for recreational facilities are currently in the process of being developed by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board. Until such time as those guidelines are finalized, playgrounds need not be built in compliance with any specific design standards. However, playgrounds are not exempt from the ADA. Section 35.130 of the title II regulations requires that qualified individuals with disabilities be given an equal opportunity to participate in a public entity's programs. Providing an equal opportunity may entail provision of some accessible equipment and an accessible surface in a public playground. cc: Records CRS Chrono Friedlander Milton.letters.recreatn. FOIA

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-2For your further information, an interim draft recreation standard, which contains advisory guidance on playgrounds at page 756 is enclosed. The section on playgrounds indicates that level, firm paths and surfacing should be provided to allow playground facilities to be used by people with limited mobility. This interim draft standard has not been adopted and is not in effect and is provided for guidance only. I hope this information has been helpful to you. Sincerely,

Stewart B. Oneglia Chief Coordination and Review Section Civil Rights Division Enclosures (2) 01-02403​United States Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board 1331 F Street, NW Washington, DC 20004-1111 202-2725434 (Voice) o 202-272-5449 (TDD) o 202-272-5447 (FAX)

NOV 23, 1992 Mr. Andy Yasenovsky Safety/Loss Control Analyst San Bernardino Country Superintendent of Schools 601 North E Street San Bernardino, California 92410-3093 Dear Mr. Yasenovsky: I am writing in response to your letter regarding playground surface materials and the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA authorizes the Access Board to provide technical assistance with respect to accessibility requirements of the law. However, the Department of Justice, not the Access Board, is responsible for enforcement of certain titles of the ADA. This letter provides informal guidance only. It is not a determination of your legal rights or responsibilities under the ADA and is not binding on the Access Board or the Department of Justice. Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in State and local government programs. The Department of Justice has issued regulations implement title II of the ADA which require newly constructed and altered State and local government facilities to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. 28 C.F.R. 35.151 (a) and (b). The Department of Justice's title II regulations permit State and local government entities to comply with either the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) or Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG) which was developed by the Access Board, in new construction and alternations. 28 C.F.R. 35.151 (c). Neither UFAS nor ADAAG contain specific provisions for recreational facilities. The Access Board plans to begin developing specific provisions for recreational facilities, including playground equipment, for inclusion in ADAAG during 1993. The provisions will be published in the Federal Register and will be subject to public comment before they are finally adopted by the Access Board. Even though a particular type or element of a newly constructed or altered State or local government facility may not be specifically addressed by the accessibility standards referenced in the Department of Justice's title II regulations, it is nonetheless required to be 'readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.' This means that, with respect to a

facility or a portion of a facility, that it can be approached, entered, and used by individuals with disabilities (including mobility, sensory, and cognitive impairments) easily and conveniently. -2ADAAG provides the following additional guidance with respect to recreational facilities: Although the final guidelines do not include accessibility guidelines for children's environments and recreational facilities at this time, newly constructed or altered children's facilities and recreational facilities subject to title II of the ADA must comply with these guidelines where applicable. For example, an accessible route must be provided to a swimming pool deck area even though the guidelines do not presently include specific requirements for providing access to the pool itself. Technical assistance is available from the Board in this area." 56 F.R. 35412 (July 26, 1991). The same guidance would apply to State and local government facilities that use UFAS or ADAAG to comply with the new construction and alterations requirements of the Department of Justice's title II regulations. We understand from the materials enclosed with your letter that California law requires at least a portion of any playground constructed after January 1, 1979 to be readily accessible to and useable by individuals with disabilities. The California Department of Parks and Recreation has advised its applicants that under current State standards new or redone playground areas must provide a firm, but resilient surface and that sand, shredded rubber, or loose wood chips are not acceptable surfaces. The California Department of Parks and Recreation has also provided its applicants with a list of manufacturers that produce suitable surface materials for accessible playground areas and has further stated that most manufacturers of play equipment offer one or more surfaces that meet the California standards. Until final accessibility standards for playgrounds are issued under the ADA, a playground that meets current California standards, as advised by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, should also be considered readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities for purposes of the ADA. I hope that this information is helpful to you. Sincerely,

James J. Raggio General Counsel Enclosure cc: Philip L. Breen Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Public Access Section

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