Assemblywoman Mosquera “Jake’s Law” Bill to Create Inclusive Playgrounds to Better Serve NJ Families with Disabilities Now Law

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrat Gabriela Mosquera to make playgrounds in New Jersey inclusive and capable of catering to children and parents with different types of disabilities was signed into law Thursday.

The new law (formerly bill A-2187) would require the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), in consultation with the Department of Education, to create rules and regulations for completely inclusive playgrounds that generally exceed current state and federal standards required by the “Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

These parks provide a fun and safe place for children with special needs to play and engage socially. Building more of these parks not only provides these children with this wonderful opportunity, but can also help educate other children about acceptance and inclusion.
The law now requires the Department of Community Affairs, in consultation with the Department of Education, to promulgate:

    • Rules and regulations for the design, installation, inspection, and maintenance of completely inclusive playgrounds. The regulations would be required to: (1) meet any standard of care imposed by law on playground operators; (2) be those guidelines and criteria which are contained in the Handbook for Public Playground Safety produced by the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission or any successor; and (3) include special provisions for completely inclusive playgrounds appropriate for children within the range of ages in day care settings.
    • Rules and regulations for completely inclusive playgrounds designed with standards that generally exceed those required by the federal “Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990” (U.S.C. s.12101 et seq.) and which result in allowing the inclusion of people with disabilities, irrespective of medical condition.
      The bill was approved by the Assembly 73-0 in June.