Americans With Disabilities Act turns 25

Inclusion is an important topic for Playworld. The company strives to design and manufacture playground equipment that benefits and can be fully utilized by individuals of all ages and abilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015, requires that all playgrounds meet a certain set of guidelines. However, playgrounds that are truly inclusive go beyond meeting these established regulations.

Did you kPlayworld inclusive playground equipment - Zahra Baker All Children's Playground, Hickory, NCnow the playground component of the ADA only became law in 2012? In the three years since the law was enacted many communities have updated their playgrounds. But there are still thousands of playgrounds that do not meet these minimum requirements.

Thankfully, the playground equipment industry as a whole is becoming more inclusive. This helps ensure children across the country are able to get increased access to equipment that meets their needs. As an inclusive play advocate and mother of a child with special needs, I know how crucial it is that we keep advancing playgrounds so that all children can experience meaningful play with their peers.

I see first-hand how Playworld is leading the way with innovative, inclusive playground equipment that exceeds ADA-compliancy guidelines. I worked with Playworld to develop its Inclusive Play Design Guide (IPDG), a practical tool enabling communities to create inclusive outdoor play spaces with the necessary tools and strategies. The IPDG is an industry-leading guide for playground construction design focused on making play accessible for people of all ages and abilities. In addition to the Guide, Playworld developed the publication Designing for Disabilities, which details how to design a playground for children on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The goal for the next 25 years of ADA is to encourage more organizations and communities to go beyond ADA guidelines towards true inclusion.

Do you want an inclusive playground in your neighborhood?  If so, then it is up to you to advocate for its development. To start your research, download a free copy of the Inclusive Play Design Guide. You can also visit Let Kids Play  and KaBOOM! for a list of articles and research about the benefits of play and inclusion.

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