Inclusiveness is a major theme today with any park or facility and when it comes to site furnishings, supplying ADA picnic tables is a very simple solution and process.
For one, the Americans with Disabilities Act has provided guidelines to make picnic tables ADA compliant.
The American with Disabilities Act was enacted 1990 by Congress and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush
The legislation was written to help protect people with disabilities from being discriminated against in the workplace.
In addition, facilities are required to provide reasonable accommodations for disabled members of the public.
Here are some suggestions when it comes to picnic tables at your park, restaurant, fairgrounds, hotel or other facilities.
ADA Picnic Table requirements
Here are a few of their criteria:
Height – surface height cannot be lower than 28 inches or higher than 34 inches.
Clearance – there must be at a minimum, 27 inches of clearance for a person’s knees between the tabletop and the floor.
Access – there must be a route for a disabled person, in a wheelchair for example, to be able to access the picnic table. A clear floor area 48 inches by 30 inches must be provided. The clear floor area extends under the table to provide leg and knee clearance and must be 19 inches in area.
Alternate Locations – if a facility cannot provide ADA picnic tables in a certain area, they can provide them in another location. However, and this is important, the other location must be available to everybody. It is illegal to create an area that is designated only for people with disabilities as this segregates them away from the general population.
For outdoor areas, there are different guidelines for ADA picnic tables.
Wheelchair Access – there should be one bench seat removed or shortened. This allows for a wheelchair to approach and sit at the table.
Clearance – there must be 36-inch clearance on all sides of the table, measured from the back edge of the bench seat.
Ample Space – there must be enough knee and toe room beneath the table. An area that is 27 inches high, 30 inches wide and 19 inches deep should provide enough space for access and maneuverability.
How many ADA picnic tables do you need?
According to ADA rules, if picnic tables are offered at a restaurant or bar for example, and the tables are affixed to the floor or wall, then 5% of the tables must be ADA compliant. If there are less than 20 tables, then at least ONE must be compliant and accessible by a wheelchair. If you have chairs at the table, then the chairs can easily be moved to make room for a disabled person.
Number of disabled citizens continues to grow
Here are some numbers on why ADA picnic tables are important.
These numbers are from the ADA.gov’s Annual Report 2018 – Disability Statistics and Demographics.
According to the report, this is the number of people and percentage with disabilities for nearly the past decade:
2008 – 38,560,000 (12.7% of estimated 302,819,000 US population).
2017 – 42,77,000 (13.2% of estimated 324,689,000 US population).
Two trends are immediately obvious.
For one, the number of disabled people, 42 million is growing.
And two, the percentage of US citizens who are disabled has grown by .5%.
Disabled population will continue to grow
Facility managers would be wise to heed these numbers.
Because another trend is on the way.
Baby Boomers, that giant bubble in the population, are getting older. In 2016, there were an estimated 74.1 million Boomers.
As they become older, more of them will be disabled.
But as we all know, this is an active bunch.
So even if they are disabled, they will still want to frequent parks, restaurants, theme parks, stadiums, museums, etc.
Make sure your location has picnic tables for this large segment of the population.
There is a simple solution.
The Park and Facilities Catalog has a very large selection of ADA picnic tables in metal, concrete, recycled plastic and aluminum. You can also choose from a variety of colors and finishes.
Call our staff for helpful advice. When it comes to ADA picnic tables, we are the experts with the inventory to back it up.