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Society continues to show progress in advocating for those with disabilities. The NRPA reports that more than 90 percent of parents believe communities should provide inclusive playground equipment.
As communities push for more inclusive play, teachers, childcare employees, and other caregivers seek more resources. Read on to learn about a guidebook for teaching children about the importance of inclusive play.
An Inside Look at 2Play Together
2Play Together is a valuable resource for creating communities that care. Developed by PlayCore in partnership with leading experts on inclusive play, 2PlayTogether differentiates itself by including activity cards that describe first-hand learning experiences.
2Play Together covers the following topics:
- How to create an inclusive community through building personal character
- How to promote disability awareness and use “people-first” language
- Inclusive age-specific playground activity ideas
This booklet is useful to anyone trying to promote disability awareness among children, such as teachers, parents, youth group leaders, or playground project managers.
Why Disability Awareness is Important
As children grow older, they will likely encounter other children with disabilities. Kids often equate the concept of “fairness” to “being available to everyone,” which is not always realistic for children with disabilities.
Imagine a line of children walking single file in the school hallways to go to the library on the second floor. As the group takes their first step up the stairs, they see their teacher allowing a child in a mobility device to use the elevator.
This might make the other children upset because they thought the elevator was off-limits. But it is a great example when being fair does not always mean equality, and it might result in the child who used the elevator feeling self-conscious. Teaching all children about disability awareness helps mitigate these types of circumstances.
Research shows that disability awareness intervention has significant positive effects on children’s understanding and attitudes toward people with disabilities. It’s important to instill an inclusive mindset at a young age so children will grow into advocates.
Why Inclusive Play Matters
Inclusive play is also important for those who benefit first-hand. Think of some of your favorite playground staples growing up- monkey bars, swings, or even a slide. Now, think of how many of those are accessible to children in mobility devices.
This exercise escalates in importance when you also consider more than physical disabilities. Think of how loud you would shout with glee when sliding down a slide or playing pirates with your friends. Now, think about children with autism who might have difficulty processing that level of auditory sensory input.
Children with disabilities have limited opportunities for play; but, like all children, need play experiences to grow. Inclusive play allows children with disabilities to play alongside other children, which helps build self-esteem.
How to Promote Inclusivity and Disability Awareness
Most adults know that teaching children disability awareness is important but seek ideas to create a learning experience.
2Play Together helps provide ideas through its activity guides. Each activity appeals to a specific age group and teaches awareness for a certain disability category.
Every activity includes a fun game, such as “I Spy” or “Monkey See, Monkey Do.” The guide also lists developmental benefits and extra inclusion tips to make the game even more helpful.
The activities also build on the concepts associated with 2Play Together’s Character Education. The Character Education component of the book helps develop the following traits in children:
Become an Advocate for Inclusive Play
2Play Together is an essential resource that compiles everything you need to know about inclusivity. The book covers everything from play research to action plans that help promote disability awareness. Paired with our inclusive playground design guide, Me2: 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design, it’s a complete resource for inclusion education.
All children will meet someone with a disability, and children with disabilities need a community that will advocate for them. 2Play Together provides solutions that help all children grow–and play– together.