District continues commitment to address accessibility improvements
One of the values the Park District emphasizes is being Community Focused – at the end of the day, it’s all about the community we serve. Improving the accessibility of our parks and facilities for all community members is an important part of maintaining that focus.
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Elmhurst Park District has been working toward removing both physical and administrative barriers from programs, parks, and facilities since 1992. In 2010, the District was subject to new ADA regulations set forth by the Department of Justice and was required to conduct an evaluation of its current facilities to determine whether there were elements that adversely affected the full participation of individuals with disabilities and to develop a revised transition plan. The Transition Plan serves as a guide to the Park District to ensure the District continues to be in compliance with the newest ADA regulations.
Seven years in, the District has completed several projects ranging from simple modifications to significant construction projects. Some of these include:
• Renovated facilities include: Wagner Community Center restrooms, Wilder Park Conservatory, Ben Allison Park sled hill
• Upgraded 10 playgrounds
• Adjusted reach ranges of dispensers for toilet paper and paper towels, first aid kits, coat racks/hooks, etc.
• Replaced signage to include braille at standard height
Future Transition Plan improvements include:
• Replace seven playgrounds to comply with standards (all of these playgrounds meet original 1992 ADA Act standards)
• Address cross slopes (standards state cannot exceed 2%)
• Provide companion seating for all District benches
• Continue to replace water fountains to meet accessibility standards
• Work with the City to replace public sidewalks around parks as part of its cost-sharing program
The Park District will continue to incorporate the Transition Plan into the development of future capital plans while they work to maintain an inclusive focus on the community.