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Playworld Announces Updated Inclusive Play Design Guide


Playworld is proud to announce an update to its world-renowned Inclusive Play Design Guide. First published in 2008, the revised guide provides current thinking about inclusive play, with new graphics and worksheets to help you design playgrounds.

As a landscape architect, parks industry professional, or community advocate, you might envision planning a destination that unites and brings joy to all people. The first step in creating such a space is re-defining the term “inclusive play” and understanding the difference between “inclusive” and “accessible.”

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires playgrounds to be accessible. However, accessible playground designs can be limiting; they make provisions for those with physical disabilities to get into the playground, but they don’t focus on other facets of development, impairment, and inclusion with others.

An inclusive playground, on the other hand, addresses the needs of all people, including those with neurologic disabilities such as autism, and individuals with intellectual, cognitive, sensory, physical, and other disabilities. They focus on changing the environment (rather than the person) while maximizing usability for everyone, providing variety in challenges for personalized developmental growth.

Inclusive playgrounds can help people of all abilities become more confident, build essential skills, meet new people, and learn acceptance of others at a young age.

To design an outdoor play environment that enriches your community, it’s necessary to go beyond ADA law and consider new and innovative ideas. The best way to create a playground that meets your community’s needs is to have a community discussion. The goal of the Inclusive Play Design Guide is to provide basic concepts of inclusive play that will help you facilitate these discussions.

The Inclusive Play Design Guide was updated with input from experts from around the world and remains manufacturer neutral. Each section of the 2019 Guide begins with a story where a person provides their perspective on the importance of that section. Some of the new issues include how to engage people over 12 years old on the playground, the importance of providing choice for all, how to use different stages of social play to enhance your design, and strategies to improve signage.

The 2019 Guide still contains a comprehensive glossary, resource section, and explanation of surfacing. There are 58 intents (goals for inclusion) and over 300 strategies to meet the goals discussed in the areas of layout, access, support features, physical, social, sensory & cognitive play, and selecting equipment.

Download your FREE copy of the Inclusive Play Design Guide here.