Knowledge Database

Mark Trieglaff: Forest Glen Park Design Case Study - Universal Design in a Park and Recreational Setting


Universal Design has become more prevalent in the general use of architectural design but in a recreational setting, it is less common. This paper features a small community park in Illinois, USA designed specifically to not only meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and 2010 ADA Accessibility Guidelines but also exceed them through incorporating Universal Design Principles. The author explains how applying Universal Design Principles throughout the park to various aspects and elements creates recreational space that not only allows children with disabilities to connect with their peers, but parents with disabilities to experience levels of interaction with their children they have not previously been able to achieve. The paper reviews the park elements specifically designed to follow Universal Design principles and how the features enhance the experience of every visitor to the park. The review also describes the process of developing a universally designed park, including the design phase, focus groups with people with disabilities and parents of children with autism, meeting with manufacturers of playground and park products and implementing a watchful eye during construction of the final design. Finally, the author shares how as a team a group of professionals came together to improve not only the lives of people with disabilities but improving the whole community through access to recreation.






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  • Disabilities:

    All disabilities

  • Topics:

    Inclusive Play & Recreation

  • Keywords:


  • Audience:

    General public, Professionals

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