Hello inclusive play enthusiasts! This past week, while doing research we stumbled upon an article that talks about inclusive play and given its relevance, we wanted to share it on here.
When people ask what The Playground Project does, we say that we research and advocate for inclusive play spaces in the greater Boston area – but not everyone understands exactly what inclusive play is. People most often picture wheelchair accessible spaces when they hear this, but inclusive play is much more than accessibility: inclusive play stresses the importance of and benefits for people of all abilities to play together. And the emphasis (as you might’ve noticed) is in the word “together” because is is crucial when talking about inclusive play. When a playground facilitates and encourages the interaction and integration of kids of all abilities, an opportunity is created. An opportunity for the creation of a positive and welcoming environment and the development of cognitive, sensory and social skills, all important in a child’s development.
While accessible playgrounds help to ensure that people of different physical abilities have access to the playground, it often does not do enough to cater to the needs of children with mental disabilities. Apart from wheelchair ramps and accessible swings, for example, an inclusive playground would have equipment for children with these mental disabilities to interact and integrate into the environment. And here is where equipment with sensory play and water play come into… well… play.
If you enjoyed our take on inclusive play and why it matters, take a look at the article below for more! If you want to know more about sensory play and water play, make sure to check back soon for a sneak peek of a project that our research team has been working on.
Hemsworth, Jerri. “Inclusive Play and Accessible Play: What’s The Difference?” Inspiring Play Magazine. N.p., 27 Nov. 2012. Web. 28 Mar. 2016. <http://inspiringplay.com/inclusive-play-and-accessible-play-whats-the-difference/>.