I have learned in my time here at Countryside Play Structures that there are many misconceptions among academic and goverment officials as to what “inclusive play” really means. Nearly all people seem to think that making a playgroung inclusive means making it wheelchair accessible. That is actually not the case. There are so many different forms of disablilites. Many children have hearing, sight, and other physical disabilities. There are also children with disabilities that can’t be seen. There are some children that autism or other congitive disabilities. We need to make sure, as professionals representing these kids, that ALL children are encompassed when we build inclusive playgrounds. We want to make sure 3 important elements are met. These elements are age and developmental appropriateness, physical accessibility, and sensory-stimulating activities. If your playground has met these standards then it truely is all inclusive.
As a representative of Landscape Structures, we pride ourselves in making sure when we are told an organization wants to build an all inclusive play area we meet that need. There are tons of sensory panels to choose from. We have everything from gear panels to sound panels. We also have 3 new inclusive play items. These are the Omni-Spin, which is a specially made merry-go-round. There is something called an Oodle Swing which allows a large number of children to swing all at once. Lastly, there is something called a Sway Fun, which allows a child in a wheelchair to get on the equipment with the other children. Landscape Structures also supplies double wide ramps to fit 2 wheelchairs at the same time.
I have included a link for all to look at from LSI’s Website that talks all about inclusive play for children.