The products shown in this guide are only intended to serve as examples to illustrate the accessibility guidelines, and are not intended as endorsements of the products. Other products may be available. The Access Board does not evaluate or certify products for compliance with the accessibility guidelines. Users are advised to obtain and review product specifications for compliance with the accessibility guidelines.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a comprehensive civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. The ADA requires that newly constructed and altered state and local government facilities, places of public accommodation, and commercial facilities be readily accessible to, and usable by, individuals with disabilities. The ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) is the standard applied to buildings and facilities. Recreational facilities, including miniature golf courses, are among the facilities required to comply with the ADA.
The Access Board issued accessibility guidelines for newly constructed and altered recreation facilities in 2002. The recreation facility guidelines are a supplement to ADAAG. As a supplement, they must be used in conjunction with ADAAG. References to ADAAG are mentioned throughout this summary. Once these guidelines are adopted by the Department of Justice (DOJ), all newly designed, constructed and altered recreation facilities covered by the ADA will be required to comply.
The recreation facility guidelines cover the following facilities and elements:
This guide is intended to help designers and operators in using the accessibility guidelines for miniature golf courses. These guidelines establish minimum accessibility requirements for newly designed or newly constructed and altered miniature golf courses. This guide is not a collection of miniature golf course designs. Rather, it provides specifications for elements within a miniature golf course to create a general level of usability for individuals with disabilities. Emphasis is placed on ensuring that individuals with disabilities are generally able to access the miniature golf course and use a variety of elements. Designers and operators are encouraged to exceed the guidelines where possible to provide increased accessibility and opportunities. Incorporating accessibility into the design of a miniature golf course should begin early in the planning process with careful consideration to accessible holes and accessible routes.
The recreation facility guidelines were developed with significant public participation. In 1993, the Access Board established an advisory committee of 27 members to recommend accessibility guidelines for recreation facilities. The Recreation Access Advisory Committee represented the following groups and associations:
The public was given an opportunity to comment on the recommended accessibility guidelines, and the Access Board made changes to the recommended guidelines based on the public comments. A notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) was published in the Federal Register in July 1999, followed by a five-month public comment period. Further input from the public was sought in July 2000 when the Access Board published a draft final rule soliciting comment. A final rule was published in September 2002.
"Whenever any barrier stands between you and the full rights and dignity of citizenship, we must work to remove it, in the name of simple decency and justice. The promise of the ADA...has enabled people with disabilities to enjoy much greater access to a wide range of affordable travel, recreational opportunities and life-enriching services."
The recreation facility guidelines described in this guide focus on newly designed or newly constructed and altered miniature golf courses, adventure-style courses, and other putting courses. Other provisions contained in ADAAG address elements commonly found at a miniature golf course facility, such as accessible vehicle parking spaces, exterior accessible routes, and toilet and bathing facilities. ADAAG addresses only the built environment (structures and grounds). The guidelines do not address operational issues. Questions regarding operational issues should be directed to the Department of Justice, 1-800-514-0301 or 1-800-514-0383 (TTY).
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Accessible routes are continuous, unobstructed paths connecting all accessible elements and spaces of a building or facility. The accessible route must comply with ADAAG provisions for the location, width (minimum of 36 inches), passing space, head room, surface, slope (maximum of 1:12 or 8.33%), changes in level, doors, egress, and areas of rescue assistance, unless otherwise modified by specific provisions outlined in this guide. The accessible route must connect the facility’s entrance with the first accessible hole and with start of play area on each following accessible hole. The course must be configured to allow an easy exit from the last accessible hole to the facility exit or entrance. When not all holes are accessible, a player cannot be required to double back through holes to exit. Where possible, designers and operators are encouraged to make all holes accessible. An accessible route connecting accessible holes may be on the hole-playing surface or adjacent to it.
Accessible Routes on the Playing Surface
There is usually a curb around a hole to keep the ball within the area. When the accessible route is provided on the course, a 1-inch high maximum curb is permitted for an opening of 32 inches minimum where the accessible route extends outside the hole. This opening will permit passage of wheelchairs, while containing the ball within the hole. Designers should consider locating this opening in an area where the ball is not likely to roll.
The accessible route on a playing surface must be within 36 inches (the golf club reach range) of any area where the ball comes to rest.
Landings must be 48 inches long. Where ramps change direction, the landing size must be a minimum of 48 inches by 60 inches. The orientation of the length and the width have not been specified for added flexibility in design. Slopes on landings must be no more than 1:20 (5%).
If the accessible route is on the playing surface, handrails are not required. The accessible route may include a maximum slope of 1:4 (25%) for a maximum 4-inch rise. These steeper slopes or ramps are permitted for limited distances.
Accessible Routes Adjacent to the Playing Surface
The accessible route adjacent to the playing surface must comply with ADAAG. The accessible route provisions in ADAAG address slope (maximum of 1:12 or 8.33%), width (minimum of 36 inches), cross slope (maximum of 1:50 or 2%), handrails, and changes in level.
The clear floor or ground space area at the start of play for each accessible hole must be 48 by 60 inches minimum to allow players to position themselves for the first shot. It must have a slope no steeper than 1:48 so that people using wheelchairs or mobility devices do not have to hit the ball while positioned on a sloped surface. The accessible route and the clear space can overlap.
Technical assistance on the guidelines for miniature golf courses is available from the Access Board at (800)-872-2253 (voice), (800)-993-2822 (TTY) or email@example.com (e-mail).
This information has been developed and reviewed in accordance with the Access Board’s information quality guidelines.