Making Accessible Parks Happen

Parks Victoria, in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, has developed an accessibility guide for visitors with a disability, slow walkers, older adults and families with young children, called Park Accessibility Evaluation Manual.

The manual begins with a discussion about universal design and accessibility standards. It is divided into seven sections: measurements and definitions; specific details of general park facilities; requirements for camp sites; park features; links, paths and trails; information requirements; and a guide to preparing accessibility information for the Parks Victoria website.

Each park feature is described, and the requirements are outlined for basic access, intermediate access and universal access. For example, a viewing platform/lookout would have basic access if it was located on an accessible path, had clear space at the viewing area and no barriers or hazards. 

To be classified as intermediate access, it would have guard rails, if needed, at a regulation height, would allow visibility for a seated person, and have vertical rails with specific spacing to allow for good visibility. Universal access for a lookout would have a telescope or periscope at a useable height if one was available, and it would be easy to control from a seated or standing position. There would also be clear signage, and so on.

The manual also includes guidelines for maps and information centres.

To access the manual, you can click here