Our communities are made up of people of all ages, abilities and cultures, we have a moral responsibility to best cater for the varied needs of the people within the community.
Many become a little confused about the difference between inclusivity and accessibility. In relation to playspace design, inclusivity refers to considering the needs of people of all ages, abilities and cultures. Accessibility forms one part of this, where we consider the universal access leading to and within a playspace and the play experiences that children and adults using mobilty aids are able to access and use in a meaningful and functional manner.
We may ask ourselves questions such as Is adding a ramp to a multiplay unit meeting the needs of a child using a wheelchair if there is no play value or play experiences for these children other than the ramp itself?
We need to think further than accessibility and consider how to strategically integrate real and meaningful play experiences within an accessible space. We can also consider how playspace design may look for a crawling baby, a 6 year old, teenagers, indigenous Australians, parents using mobility aids, pregnant women, people with vision or hearing impairments and children on the autistic spectrum, just to name a few.
What elements create an Inclusive Playspace?
There are many great resources available to support and inspire designers in their endeavors to create outstanding inclusive playspaces. A holistic approach is fundamental to inclusive design, encompassing the manner in which users access the space, play experiences and suitable facilities and environmental considerations. “Everyone Can Play is a best practice resource for councils, community leaders, landscape architects and passionate local residents. It is a reference guide for creating world-class playspaces, designed to include everyone in the community”
Everyone Can Play. (2018). Retrieved from http://everyonecanplay.nsw.gov.au
To view the Everyone Can Play Guide Click Here
To view the Everyone Can Play Video Click Here
Proludic’s Inclusive Play Guide is a practical and informative resource which provides ideas and best practice design principals in both visual and written forms. This guide received the Good Design Award 2016 in the Social Innovation category.
To view Proludic’s Inclusive Play Guide Click Here
Inclusivity with Active Discovery
Active Discovery have extensive experience in inclusive playspace design. We understand the key elements that form the foundations of inclusive playspaces and have partnered with suppliers that have embedded inclusive design and play experiences within their product ranges.
We offer a free consultation service in relation to inclusive design via our in-house special needs teacher and occupational therapist. Everyone can play and we are here to help you foster inclusivity within your next playspace project.