Ground and Floor Surfaces (GFS

RESNA Standards Committee on Ground and Floor Surfaces (GFS)

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  • Tuesday, March 19, 2024 at 1:00 pm Eastern
  • Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at 1:00 pm Eastern
  • Tuesday, July 16, 2024 at 1:00 pm Eastern
  • Tuesday, September 17, 2024 at 1:00 pm Eastern
  • Tuesday, November 19, 2024 at 1:00 pm Eastern

Meetings are open to observers; voting on documents requires membership. Each standards committee is required to maintain a balance in membership. Anyone is welcome to join the committee, and we are especially looking for Surface, Assistive Technology, and Measurement Device Manufacturers and Designers, Users, and Acecessbility Experts. For additional information regarding attending committee meetings, please contact a GFS Committee Officer.



Photo of Bill Ammer
Bill Botten





The RESNA Ground and Floor Surfaces standards committee seeks to continue the development of a portable test method to measure the firmness and stability of all surface types. A portable field test method would enable facility owners to confirm surfaces are firm and stable upon installation and throughout the maintenance lifecycle. Ideally, the device for the portable test method could be operated by one individual, packed in a travel bag or case, and checked in with a commercial air carrier without oversize or overweight baggage fees.

Indoor and outdoor surfacing along accessible routes, outdoor recreation access routes, pedestrian trails, shared use paths, and beach access routes needs to provide access to persons with mobility impairments who use various types of mobility devices like canes, crutches, wheelchairs, scooters, or other power-driven mobility devices to wheel or walk across the accessible route. In addition, some people with mobility impairments—who do not use assistive devices but are ambulatory—rely on a firm and stable surface to balance and steady their gait. People with mobility impairments have needs to both turn and maneuver on surfacing, along with negotiating longer distances which may impact individuals who have limitations on their energy expenditure. While accessibility standards call for the ground and floor surface to be “firm and stable,” not all surfaces in all environments can be asphalt, concrete, or hardwood flooring. Alternative surface materials are often desired to fit the aesthetics of the environment like that of a hotel meeting room, natural wooded trail, crusher fine picnic area, or indoor playscape.

The purpose of this standard is to adopt a preferred test method or protocol that will objectively measure the firmness and stability of all installed indoor and outdoor surfaces with a portable device. The device must be able to measure surfaces upon installation to verify that the surface is accessible with regard to firmness and stability as installed and to also confirm existing surfaces are maintained as firm and stable over time. There has long been a need for a preferred test method to measure continued compliance with the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design and the ABA Accessibility Standards (Section 302 in each). Use of the preferred test method will enable facility owners and operators to verify that the surface remains firm and stable as it ages, undergoes frequent use, and is exposed to environmental elements. Some surfaces become harder over time and others become softer over time; still other surfaces require maintenance. The test method will allow facility owners to measure and confirm the firmness and stability of their surfaces and to schedule preventative maintenance, modifications, repairs, or replacement to ensure continued usability by people with mobility impairments and compliance with the accessibility standards. In addition, ground surface and flooring manufacturers would be able to market their surface product line based on the firmness and stability that their surface provides in various environments.