Principles of Accessibility Design for Landscape Architecture – The Field

All Frontcountry site features and interpretive content at Grand Teton National Park is fully accessible to visitors of all ages and abilities.
ASLA 2021 Professional General Design Honor Award. Inspiring Journeys for All. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. HDLA / image: Charlie Craighead

New ASLA Research Report: Free downloadable resource available for ASLA members. Self-study exam available for 1.25 PDH (LA CES/HSW).

In order to lead the planning and design of inclusive, healthy, equitable, and safe environments, landscape architects have an obligation to be aware of and work in compliance with standards for accessibility. To meet this need, the ASLA Professional Practice Committee created Principles of Accessibility Design for Landscape Architecture: ADA, ABA, and Other Accessibility Standards and Guidelines as a technical overview of the national accessibility standards and guidelines.

The primary focus of this document is the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design (ADA Standards). These standards exist within a complex web of national, state, and local governmental and non-governmental organizations’ related conventions, codes, and documents. Each entity focuses on its role in supporting and achieving greater accessibility in the environment and society in general.

The goal of this overview is to encourage landscape architects and designers to employ a wide view of accessible design. This will help designers avoid missing significant, unique variations in accessibility requirements that may apply to a project.

ASLA members can download Principles of Accessibility Design for Landscape Architecture: ADA, ABA, and Other Accessibility Standards and Guidelines for free and can purchase and pass a self-study exam to earn 1.25 PDH (LA CES/HSW).

ASLA publishes the ASLA Research Reports to encourage professionals to share specialized expertise relating to landscape architecture. ASLA considers these reports to be important contributions to a necessary and ongoing dialogue within a large and diverse community of landscape architecture researchers and practitioners.

Dilworth Park’s signature fully accessible and flexible scrim fountain is a nod to the historic Centre Square’s former use as Philadelphia’s first waterworks and public fountain.
ASLA 2020 Professional Urban Design Award of Excellence. Dilworth Park. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. OLIN. / image: OLIN / Sahar Coston-Hardy, Affiliate ASLA

Many thanks to the authors and contributors of this report.

Contributing Authors:

  • Drew Braley, ASLA, Browning Day
  • Carl Kelemen, FASLA, KMS Design Group, LLC
  • Nate Lowry, ASLA, Mackay Sposito
  • David Milligan, FASLA, IntersectDFM
  • Emily O’Mahoney, FASLA, 2GHO | Gentile Holloway O’Mahoney & Associates, Inc.
  • Jason Radice, ASLA, University of Maryland
  • Jeffrey Tandul, ASLA, Environmentors

ASLA Accessibility Subcommittee Peer Reviewers:

  • Shawn Balon, ASLA, Storefront for Community Design
  • Chris Dacus, FASLA
  • Sally Horsey, ASLA, Halff Associates, Inc.
  • Patricia Matamoros, Associate ASLA, Savino Miller Design Studio
  • Phil McDade, FASLA, PLMLA
  • Alexa Vaughn, ASLA, MIG

Visit for the full catalog of ASLA Research Reports, including:

  • Principles of Accessibility Design for Landscape Architecture: ADA, ABA, and Other Accessibility Standards and Guidelines

  • A Landscape Performance + Metrics Primer for Landscape Architects: Measuring Landscape Performance on the Ground

  • Suburban Street Stormwater Retrofitting: An Introduction to Improving Residential Rights-of-Way

  • Integrating BIM Technology into Landscape Architecture, 2nd Edition

  • Wayfinding: Principles and Practice, 2nd Edition

  • Planting Soils for Landscape Architectural Projects

  • Forum on Therapeutic Garden Design

  • Reclamation Planning of Pits and Quarries, 2nd Edition

  • Geographic Information Systems: Using the Tools for Informed Growth, 2nd Edition

  • Successful Ecological Restoration: A Framework for Planning/Design Professionals

  • Green Roof Infrastructure

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