This observational study aimed to determine the accessibility level of playgrounds in Louisville, Kentucky by using the Americans with Disabilities Act’s checklist for playgrounds. Additionally, it sought to determine which playgrounds were best for different disabilities and needs. Since play is extremely important to the development of the child and is a right guaranteed to the child by the United Nations, it is essential to ensure that all children have access to public play facilities. Ten playgrounds were examined – four that were determined by the Louisville government to be handicap accessible and six others that were randomly selected. It was hypothesized that the accessibility level would be extremely low, especially for those with physical disabilities. In the summer of 2017, the study was conducted using the checklist and additional field notes. Areas such as accessible entrance, dispersed ground level equipment, ramps, and stable ground covering were considered to make a playground accessible. Field notes considered the presence of close parking and availability of benches and picnic tables. Data was compiled descriptively and comparatively in two charts. Data proved that the four handicap accessible playgrounds were, indeed, accessible, while the other six were very inaccessible, specifically for those with physical disabilities. Two playgrounds were identified to suit children with either physical disabilities or sensory processing disorder.

One playground was identified as inadequate for the development of any child. Overall, it was determined that the playgrounds need to be updated. Recommendations were made for an accessible playground that allows for the most opportunities for development.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 2017


Julie Baltisberger

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Department Name when Degree Awarded

Occupational Therapy