View Full Version : What makes for "ADA Facilities"?
Dec 13 2004, 10:17 PM
What does it take to qualify to check the ADA Facilities box on the course directory? Also, is there a checklist that cities would need to comply with if they are worried about ADA?
Dec 13 2004, 11:01 PM
I have wrestled with this one. To be strictly ADA compliant, you'd have to have a mostly flat course, with no slopes exceeding 12:1 and railings by steep drops, tees perfectly flush with the ground with no lip, etc... If that were the case, none of the existing courses would ever qualify. Generally, I check the box if part of the course, at least 3 holes, could be played by a person in a wheel chair.
Dec 14 2004, 12:35 PM
Actually, while Steve's ideas are pretty sound, as far as the playing surface of the course is concerned, there are currently NO ADA regulations yet that would impact disc golf courses. The development and implementation of such regulations takes forever and the closest they've gotten is that on a golf course (read ball golf, since they don't even know disc golf exists) the teeing areas and the putting surfaces must be accessible to a person with a mobility impairment. There is no mention of the fairways or hazards.
I worked for several years on a subcommittee that developed standards for "recreational pathways" and how they should be identified as accessible. There is still no hard and fast rule other than the previously mentioned slope ratio and a passing reference to surface hardness. Playgrounds are not required to have elements that are accessible to children with disabilities, and the guidelines talk about surfaces that could be accessed by a wheelchair user.
I think when we determine whether a course can be listed as having "ADA Facilities," we should look at parking, restrooms, and attendant facilities such as pavilions and other picnic areas. Interested readers can do a search on this message board for a couple of previous threads about rules adaptations and accommodations for players that use wheelchairs or other mobility devices. Also, the EDGE curriculum has a section on players with other abilities that might help with formulation of a program for those players.
Please feel free to contact me about these issues. If I don't have the answer, I'm pretty well connected to the disabilities community and can find answers rather quickly. The ADA is a civil rights law prohibiting discrimination against persons with disabilities and there are regulations that have been drafted that help with architectural problems that might be discrimintory. Just be aware that there are no "ADA Approved" facilities, though there are consultants (myself included) that can help you interpret the ADA regulations and develop plans to meet your needs.
One thing to remember is that most people with disabilities that want to play disc golf are more than willing to work with you/us to find solutions to their needs. In fact, they probably are the ones to tell us what the solutions might be, rather than us designing features into courses that are either not needed or not wanted.
Dec 23 2004, 02:59 PM
For those interested in seeing what the ADAAG (Americans with Disabilities Act Architectural Guidelines) Board has to say about golf courses (ball golf), go to here (http://www.access-board.gov/recreation/final.txt) and scroll down to 15.4.1 and beyond.
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