Have you ever been left out of the fun?
Maybe you were too young, too small. Or too old and too big. Or simply not invited to join in.
Remember that feeling? The disappointment. Maybe even anger.
“Why can’t I play, too?”
For millions of children and their parents, that feeling happens every time they find themselves on a playground, park, or other outdoor playspace.
Since 2012, American playgrounds and parks have had a wheelchair and mobility-disabled accessibility mandate.
How do you make a playground handicap accessible? You start by adding disability-friendly components that are equal to the all-time favorite typical playground elements.
One top playground favorite is the swing set. It provides an extraordinary feeling — flying through the air, weightless and magical.
For a wheelchair user, either adult or child, a wheelchair swing set offers that same joyful feeling.
Today, we’re going to discuss the minimum basics you must have to include one of these wonderful wheelchair swings on your playground, including:
- What is a wheelchair swing?
- Why do you need one?
- How much does a wheelchair swing cost?
- What do you need to include one?
- How can WillyGoat help?
Ready? Let’s push off and get swinging.
What Is a Wheelchair Swing?
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ADA Accessible Single Swing, Set and/or Platform
A wheelchair swing is basically a wheelchair platform suspended from a frame by a set of chains. It is designed to accommodate either children or adults in wheelchairs easily and naturally.
There’s no need to transfer the “swinger” from their chair. No lifting. No fear of falling.
And parents in wheelchairs can give their small child a swinging experience on their own, without the need for assistance or awkwardness, by simply using a pull chain accessory.
The wheelchair swing platform has a ramp, allowing the chair to roll on easily and safely. Using the pull chain, the chair’s user can enter, propel themselves, and exit — all without aid.
This adaptive swing gives wheelchair users and their parents that flying, freeing feeling that only swinging through the air can provide.
Why You Need a Wheelchair Swing
The need for adaptive everything grows each year, as more and more Americans are identified as disabled in some way.
According to the census, there were nearly 330,000 children under 18 with an “ambulatory” disability identified in 2019. The figure for adults is over 9 million.
An ambulatory disability hampers walking to the point where aids like wheelchairs or scooters are necessary, and where the person cannot rely on walking as a “form of transportation”.
Not having a play space that meets these individuals’ special needs for accessibility doesn’t only leave people out – it’s also against the law.
Starting in 2012, the Americans with Disabilities Act was amended to include accessibility in and to outdoor play spaces.
Meeting the needs of those in wheelchairs is important. And it’s not as costly as you might think.
How Much Does a Wheelchair Swing Cost?
The simplest answer to the question of cost is: it depends.
It depends on the answers to these questions:
Do you already have the swing frame needed to mount the swing platform?
Do you want to provide one or two swing platforms?
Do you want to add the pull chain accessory that allows users to enter, propel themselves, and exit independently?
Will you add another type of special needs swing along with your wheelchair swing, and do you have the swing frame to make that possible?
Are you building a permanent play space or a temporary one?
(We carry a frame, wheelchair swing platform, and pull chain set that is completely portable. It has the same sturdiness and safety of our permanent swing, but gives you the option of a portable unit you can take with you nearly anywhere.)
And one last one — Just how accessible is your playground already? There are other factors to consider than just providing the swing frame and wheelchair swing platforms.
Factors like ground covers, ramps, and pathways that allow easy access onto the play area, as well as seating and eating areas like wheelchair accessible picnic tables.
So, the short answers are:
A single wheelchair swing platform plus its swing frame costs around $2000 (all prices from our current online catalog).
The pull chain accessory runs around $230.
A double platform swing with frame will cost over $2600.
A double swing frame with a single platform swing and a JennSwing starts around $2500.
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Standard 8 Foot High ADA Swing Set
(A JennSwing is a specially designed swing for special needs individuals. It is constructed of molded heavy polymer resin and provides the user with a harness safety belt. It is not for wheelchair users, but rather made for those with other disabilities. See one in the image above.)
We also provide just the swing frame for sale, if you already have a wheelchair platform swing available for use. These start at around $900.
The long answer is all those other things – ground covers, ramps, etc. – carry their own costs, some of which can’t be totaled until you know how the quantity you’ll need. Our catalog includes all of these items and more.
And then there’s the matter of space.
Wheelchair Swing Requirements
Space Requirements for a Single Wheelchair Swing Platform
The swing platform needs at least an 8 ft. high frame. You also need at least 8 sq. ft. surrounding the swing platform. This needs to be surfaced with an ADA approved ground surface.
Space Requirements for the Frame, Wheelchair Swing, and Access Point
Ideally, you’ll need at least 18 sq. ft. surrounding each of your wheelchair swing platforms. This will provide space for the frame, safe swinging, and a ramp to allow easy access onto the playground’s wheelchair swing platform.
Space Requirements for a Portable Wheelchair Swing
The same space requirements apply to our portable models. The portable model frame is designed along the same dimensions as our permanent version. It just includes a base that allows it to be picked up and moved about.
Space Requirements for Double Swing Platforms
If you want to provide double the pleasure, you’ll need 32 sq. ft. surrounding your double wheelchair swing set. This allows for the frame, the swing platforms, safe usage, and accessibility features like a ramp.
How Can We Help?
Wheelchair Accessible Merry Go Round
As we’ve already mentioned, WillyGoat carries almost everything you need to provide those in wheelchairs with a safe, reliable swing set experience.
Our models have a weight capacity of 700 pounds each. This allows for adults to use the wheelchair swing platform as easily as children. The wheelchair platform can accommodate both child-sized and adult-sized wheelchairs.
Our special needs JennSwing has a weight capacity of 125 pounds and a height limit of 45 inches, accommodating most children and even small adults.
We carry ADA compliant rubber mulch surface cover as well as ramps, half ramps, and other ADA approved products like picnic tables and playspaces. We even have a wheelchair platform merry-go-round to add to the fun.
Check out all our disability-accessible products today. Give the ambulatory disabled in your community a new feeling – one of joy, pride, and inclusiveness.