Inclusiveness is an important consideration when you are planning a playground. Today, the general consensus among the public is that no one should be left out of a fun activity, especially children. People with disabilities may have mobility issues, sensory disorders and other challenges that make it harder for them to play at many older parks. Inclusive playground equipment is designed to help everyone be able to enjoy the play space, and you need to understand the importance of choosing to focus on accessibility as you develop your plans for a new park or a play area upgrade.
Are All Playgrounds Required By Law to be Inclusive?
The Americans with Disabilities Act establishes the guidelines that state and local facilities along with other areas of public accommodation must follow to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities. In most cases, this means that public school playground equipment must be inclusive. Community recreational facilities also fall within these guidelines. If you are unsure of whether or not your playground needs to be compliant, our playground designers can help you understand the laws that apply to your specific situation. However, you should also keep in mind that planning an inclusive playground offers many benefits that go far beyond following the laws set in place by the government.
Why Include Everyone In a Playground Design?
When everyone is included in a playground design, you encourage acceptance for others within your community. Children and adults with disabilities still deserve to have opportunities to exercise their bodies and minds. Inclusive equipment is also safer for everyone since a visitor to your park can choose to use a ramp or supportive swing if they are not comfortable using stairs or other parts of the structure.
What Are the Elements of an Inclusive Playground?
An inclusive playground should have accessible routes to the play structures. This means that you may need to swap out sand or rocks for more accessible types of playground safety surfacing such as poured-in-place rubber. There should also be no barriers to a child’s ability to play. For example, a ramp allows kids to access higher parts of a play structure if they are unable to walk up and down stairs. Keep in mind that an inclusive playground does not simply place accessible equipment in a special part of the park. Instead, accessibility should be infused throughout the entire design so that kids of all different abilities can play together.
How Can I Make An Established Playground More Inclusive?
Budget-minded playground planners have many options to transform an outdated play area to one that is inclusive. In addition to switching to a smooth surface for the play space, you can install equipment such a high-backed spinner or swing. You can also find funding partners that help make your dream of an inclusive playground on your community grounds possible.
An inclusive playground builds a strong community since it makes it clear that everyone is welcome. You’ll also find that inclusive equipment enhances play areas by adding new elements that encourage everyone to play together. Whether you just need to increase the accessibility of an existing playground or are starting from scratch, keeping inclusivity in mind makes sure that your design is perfect for everyone to enjoy.