Landscape architects welcome new Inclusive Play Design Guide

bro1109026-Inclusive-Play-Design-Guide-cover2Playworld Systems recently participated in the American Society of Landscape Architects’ (ASLA) 2011 annual convention in San Diego. This year’s expo was the largest ever, with the second largest attendance in ASLA history.

At this year’s convention, Playworld Systems introduced the new Inclusive Play Design Guide™, a practical tool that enables the creation of landmark inclusive outdoor play spaces. The breakthrough guide was developed by a cross-functional committee of experts from child development, therapeutic recreation, physical therapy, inclusive play, parks and recreation, and landscape architecture.

Jim Dziatkowicz, RLA, ASLA, a member of the committee that developed the Inclusive Play Design Guide in conjunction with Playworld Systems, was onsite at the ASLA expo in our booth and gave several presentations to share the guide’s essential framework and criteria.  He reported that landscape architects expressed to him how much they valued the guide and the opportunity to hear about it directly from a fellow LA.

We were all very pleased by the response to the guide. The overwhelming sentiment was an appreciation that finally a tool had been created that offered a tangible application of concepts that had previously only been discussed at conferences and educational sessions. People told us they were used to theories and academic discussions and were excited to have a practical tool for a change.

A few comments we heard:

“We always listen to someone talk about this topic; finally someone has done something about it.”
“You’ve written out something that I’ve been trying to describe for years.”
“You’ve done our work for us.”

It was encouraging to hear from professionals who had designed inclusive playspaces in the past tell us they considered the Inclusive Play Design Guide a resource they could use on their next project. Many also expressed an interest in being part of the peer review stage when we begin working on the next edition.

Jim also conveyed how much LAs valued the chance to hear not only an explanation of the guide and its component parts, but the process behind the manual. Landscape architects are sometimes as interested in the process as the final product.

We also heard positive comments about the fact that the guide is manufacturer-neutral.  Other aspects about the guide that earned praise: it’s free, it’s available for download, it places absolutely no limitations on the design professional’s creativity, and it includes input from early childhood development and physical therapy experts.

People familiar with Playworld Systems stopped by to tell us they enjoyed working with us and liked our equipment. We were heartened to hear all of the positive feedback and excited to offer a truly useful tool to landscape architects who are as committed to inclusive design as we are.