Does your park or recreational facility provide any handicap accessible picnic tables? If not, perhaps you should. The U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) enforces federal guidelines related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and states the following with respect to handicap accessibility for recreational facilities:
“Private entities who own, lease (or lease to), or operate recreation facilities have a separate obligation under title III of the ADA to remove architectural barriers in existing facilities where it is readily achievable (i.e., easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense).” (http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/reg3a.html)
The Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) set minimum requirements for compliance with Title III of the ADA that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in public accommodations and commercial facilities, including lodging, restaurants and public gathering places. ADA guidelines are clear in their specifications for handicap accessible tables in Section 4.32 of the guidelines (http://www.access-board.gov/adaag/html/adaag.htm#4.32). The tabletop must be 28 to 34 inches above the floor or ground; knee spaces must be at least 27 inches high, 30 inches wide, and 19 inches deep.
ADA picnic tables come in a variety of styles to meet any recreational design. Handicap accessible picnic tables in a traditional style feature elongated ends that meet ADA guidelines for handicap access. High-end picnic tables of this type for the disabled provide an inclusive seating spot in the middle of the table as opposed to the end of the table. Outdoor tables suitable for picnic or restaurant use come in styles with individual seats. ADA compatible versions of these picnic tables leave one seating spot open for wheelchair access.
How many handicap accessible picnic table spaces should you provide? ADAAG sets the requirements for handicap accessible seating spaces based upon the seating capacity of the area. One accessible seat is required for a 25-seat area or less; 2 for a 26 to 50-seat area; 4 for a 51 to 300-seat area; and 6 for a 300 to 500-seat area. When planning the arrangement for ADA picnic tables, be sure to allow the minimum requirement of a 60 inch turning diameter for access.
AllPicnicTables.com offers picnic tables in a variety of sizes, styles, materials and finishes, including handicap accessible picnic tables and ADA approved picnic tables