We’re Back – Fall 2016

Overall scores of the cities our team visited

Hey guys, we’re back! For all those inclusive play enthusiasts who have been following our activities or have collaborated with us in one way or another, thanks for your support! We’re very excited for all the wonderful things that we have planned this year. As always, you can find updates on the progress of our different projects on this blog and the website, but also keep your eye on our Facebook page for more content not only our current and future project, but also what everyone else in the inclusive play sphere is doing! This year we hope to increase our collaboration with all the amazing organizations that are doing similar things. Believe us, you won’t want to miss it.

But first things first- it’s time for an update on our summer adventures. Remember that post back in March about a research fellowship that some of our members had applied for? If you don’t it’s okay, because we’ll have tons of content about it on all of our media, and by the time we’re done sharing, you’ll be an inclusive play expert (if you aren’t one already).

Overall scores of the cities our team visited

This summer, four of our members embarked on a journey across the United States, visiting top playgrounds that illustrated the inclusive play landscape in the country. They gathered data with our most prized possession: a 60-question survey that spurred countless heated discussions and took two years to perfect. They trekked this survey from the blazing sun of Phoenix to the rolling hills of Seattle, through the incredible monuments of Washington, D.C. and the backyards of Jackson, Mississippi. In total, the group evaluated fourteen cities across all regions of the United States, surveying 75 playgrounds in total, which were then ranked by overall quality, and by inclusivity. Take a look at the graphs in this post to see how well your city did!

By the end of the summer, Monisha, Durward, Hannah and Mariya found that the cities with the best playgrounds didn’t necessarily have the most funding from their Parks and Recreation Departments. The team hypothesized that playground inclusivity would depend on the visibility and level of services available for people with disabilities, and the overall quality of playgrounds in each city. In the end, a city’s dedication to and spending toward services for disabled persons had little correlation with the inclusivity of its playgrounds. Of course, higher quality playgrounds were also often the most inclusive. But more surprisingly, playgrounds created by the work of community organizations far surpassed most standard parks and recreation playgrounds.

Inclusivity Scores of cities that our team visited
Inclusivity Scores of cities that our team visited

We will be sharing more of their quantitative results in the future, exposing graphs and measurements that explain both the determinants of successfully implemented inclusive play and the rankings of each city and state by survey category. But today, we wanted to dedicate this space to share with you what we consider to be an extremely important finding. To read more about the results, head over to the full report.

So whether you’re a group of students interested in playground design and inclusivity, or a group of parents looking to make a difference for their children (shoutout to Roslindale Wants to Play), remember that the efforts of a strong community organization can make the difference between a standard city playground and an incredible one. This year we’re looking to build more bridges with the community around us. If you’re looking to learn more about what we do, or get to know the coolest playgrounds in the US, feel free to get in touch with us. Join our journey this year with a group that is stronger than ever. We can’t wait to show you what’s coming soon.

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