This is the second post in a seven part series on inclusive playground design. Read part one. Can’t wait for all seven parts? Request a copy of Me2®: 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design® and put research into action.
When people ask us “How do I design an inclusive playground?” we turn to the research found in Me2: 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design. At the core of our research-based approach to inclusive playground design is the idea of including people of all abilities in the play experience. Rather than focusing on products or spaces designed specifically for persons with disabilities, true inclusion considers the whole child and every child. For that reason, the second principle in Me2 is “Be Included.”
To “be included,” we create a play environment with activities that offer various types and forms of play such as dramatic play opportunities. Accessible telescopes, steering wheels, storefront panels and play houses all provide these fun, imaginative play options that encourage dramatic play among peers. Additionally, we add auditory panels, talk tubes and interactive panels that promote communication between all children and adults.
GameTime offers auditory panels which are touch sensitive and encourage dramatic play.
Being included also means providing ramps, links and transfer systems to make sure everyone has a chance to enjoy as many areas of the playground as possible and to the greatest extent possible. For example, GameTime invented the slide transfer. Slide transfers help users transfer from a mobility device into the top of the slide opening, creating an equal play experience for everyone.
Because we always strive to address the needs of every child throughout the inclusive play environment, we also select play components for beginner, intermediate and advanced skill levels, such as climbers at varying heights and degrees of challenge. Some of these climbers, like the Sensory Wave Climber, are designed at transfer height with grips and handholds to help people of all abilities to engage in play.
The Sensory Wave Climber is the industry's first climber for children of all abilties with an assortment of auditory, tactile and visual sensors
Finally, to “be included” we incorporate activities that promote fine and gross motor skills. Large, easy to use buttons and hand holds, touch-sensitive panels and auditory panels with adaptive switch capability are all part of play components that help children of all abilities play together while developing these important developmental skills.
Learn more about the seven principles of inclusive playground design, request a copy of the complete Me2 guidebook or contact a GameTime representative in your neighborhood to explore inclusive play options for your community.