One in every 12 children between 5 and 20 years old has a physical or mental disability based on 2000 US Census data.
Many designers are not aware that the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) has very specific requirements for children's play areas and alternative architectural recommendations that can be used when there is a large number of children versus adults.
At White Hutchinson, we follow the principal of "universal design" in our work, to make all aspects of the business useable by everyone. That includes both adults and children. Universal design avoids radically different looking items and special labels (e.g., handicapped), and the stigma associated with them, while providing choices for all users.
Universal design makes good business sense. The more customers whom can use your facility, the better the revenues and profits.
Vicki Stoecklin, our Education & Child Development Director, wrote an
article on universal design for children called "Designing for All Children"
that is used by the AIA in their web-based ADA training course. It can be
found on our web site at: