Making Playgrounds Accessible & Inclusive for All
After reading an interesting article from a mother frustrated with the accessibility options of a new playground in her community, it reminds us all to keep accessibility and inclusive play at the forefront of our minds when designing our playground equipment.
Commercial playground equipment manufacturers today have taken great steps forward in providing new and exciting options that cater to children with a wide range of challenges, whether it be physical, mental or social. It is our responsibility as community members and mentors to provide a play space that promotes inclusive play for all children.
Providing accessibility to playground equipment entails more than just complying with minimum accessibility requirements, standards and laws. It means providing a play space where children of all abilities can experience play together. With all of the resources and options out there today, there is no reason our playground equipment can’t be exciting for all children.
Playground equipment manufacturers have recently introduced a barrage of new ADA products including double wide ramps, accessible merry-go-rounds, therapeutic swing seats, and sensory panels that feature sound, music, and interaction. Plus, more exciting options are becoming available every day!
Not all of us are experts on accessibility, and we don’t have to be. Most playground equipment sales representatives are highly versed in ADA requirements and the new products that are available today. Plus, there are numerous tools and articles available online that can guide your search for the proper accessibility features and options. The Access Board website is a great place to start.
Here are just a few items to consider adding to your playground to make it inclusive and accessible:
- Transfer Points
- Ground Level Play Activities
- Sensory Panels that include music, touch etc.
- Therapeutic Swing Seats
One of the most important benefits playgrounds have to offer is providing our children with an environment for social interaction and development. Let’s make sure that includes ALL children!