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Wheelchair accessible picnic tables and street furniture

  • October 28, 2013
  • Bruce Bromley

Public street furniture are items that sadly have not been seriously addressed by manufactures to ensure they are usable by people with mobility and use wheelchairs.

Part of the problem is there has been no demand for manufacturers to produce such products. It is time for government departments start considering the inclusion of people with disability into the external environments they create.

Picnic tables for wheelchair access

Whilst the Building Code of Australia addresses accessibility within buildings, we are only left with the Disability Discrimination Act which is complaints based to address this overlooked area of the external built environment.

As can be seen by the simplicity of the design providing accessibility to thi stype of furniture is very easy to achieve. The spot left for a wheelchair could also be occupied by a seat when accessibility is not required.

Wheelchair accessible picnic tables

Where should accessible picnic tables be provided

  • Public parks and playgrounds
  • Schools and Universities
  • Outdoor venues
  • Aged car facilities
  • Highway rest areas
  • Camping and caravan parks

Wheelchair accessible picnic seating

An English company “Inclusive Furniture” recognised this issue and has developed an accessible product range, we thank them for their permission to use their photos. Please visit their website.

http://www.inclusivefurniture.co.uk

How should we build them for Australia?

AS128.2:1992, Section 24.1.1

Height of unit where a single table is provided, the height to the top of the unit and the height beneath the unit shall be as follows:
(a) Height from the finished floor to the top of the unit: 850 ±20 mm.
(b) Height of clearance beneath the unit from the finished floor: 820 ±20 mm.

Width of seating spaces In order to provide a wheelchair seating space, the minimum clearance width between the legs or other fixtures beneath a table on at least one accessible face of the unit shall be 800 mm.

Detail of wheelchair accessible table