Planning for inclusive play

clipart2Building a great inclusive playground requires dreaming, planning and believing from numerous people.  For anyone interested in creating an inclusive play space, the first step is to pull together all of the needed visionaries for a planning team.  The planning committee should be as thoughtfully composed as the playground you aspire to build.

Ask yourself:

  • Who needs this playground?
  • Who will use this playground?
  • Who will care about this playground?

After you answer these questions, it will become apparent as to who should serve on the committee.  The authors of the Inclusive Play Design Guide asked these questions and came up with the following list of who to consider on your playground committee:

  • People in the community who have disabilities
  • Parents who are raising children with disabilities and parents who are raising children who are typically developing
  • Accessibility experts
  • People from the neighborhood
  • Landscape architects
  • Local government officials
  • Playground professionals
  • The owner/operator of the land
  • Personnel from local schools, social service agencies, and non-profit organizations
  • People who will be responsible for maintaining the playground once it’s open

The more knowledge of disabilities, park management, child development and the community —the more likely you will be in succeeding in the development of an inclusive playground.

The Inclusive Play Design Guide offers you guidance for starting your planning:

  • Write a mission and vision statement for the project (PP-6)
  • Develop a timeline (PP-9)
  • Create a financial plan for the planning, designing, building and maintaining stages of the project (PP-3)
  • Bring paid professionals to the table—“people who have no previous experience in an area can achieve wonderful things.  However, the selective use of experts can smooth the path, reduce the project timeline and increase project quality.” (PP-5)

To get started with your planning and preparation, download a free copy of the Inclusive Play Design Guide at

This post is the beginning of a series about how to use the Inclusive Play Design Guide.

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