Inclusive playgrounds address the needs of all children, including those who have autism, intellectual disabilities, hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other challenges. An inclusive playground accommodates all and challenges them at their own development level.
It doesn’t matter if the children are in a wheelchair or have a disability such as autism, all children have a fundamental need and right to play.
The idea is to design playgrounds that are inclusive not just for mobility impairments but also for cognitive and sensory disabilities.
Inclusive playgrounds can even help diminish stereotypes and preconceptions that many adults and children have about the disabled.
A typically developing child who’s never seen a child with a disability will just start playing with them because they haven’t been told that person is different. They just find another kid on the playground to play with and by doing so they’ve learned a really important lesson.
The children are able to gain confidence, meet new people, and the playground teaches tolerance at a very early age. It teaches them that everybody has value and helps children become better people….Then barriers slowly disappear.
More inclusive playgrounds are being planned and designed every day.
Although there are ADA requirements for specifications on playgrounds, meeting these requirements does not guarantee a fun or inclusive park for all. Guidelines and standards for parks have not always been followed or enforced. The ADA recently updated and retooled its requirements adding some very specific guidelines that must be followed.
BCI Burke is continually Reinventing Play™ with a long-term commitment to providing accessible playgrounds for every child, regardless of ability or disability.
Our accessible designs exceed ADAAG’s guidelines and are built into our proprietary design program which ensures children will benefit physically, developmentally, emotionally and socially. We build an environment for children to come together, learn and discover the value of play!