Friday, March 24, 2017

Playgrounds for Everyone: Accessible Playgrounds



This past weekend, my family went to an event at an all-accessible playground. It was my first time visiting the playground. I didn't even know it existed! The event itself was wonderful, as was the playground.

Many playgrounds have the plastic high back swings for older children but that's pretty much the extent of their inclusiveness. This playground was different. It had monkey bars at a low level, ramps for wheelchairs and walkers, and a sensory garden (among many other things).

This playground led me to search for other playgrounds and I found this directory, which links to accessibility-friendly playgrounds all over the country. A playground makes the list if it has any kind of accessibility equipment, so you'll want to check the individual websites for your particular needs before you go. Also, I saw at least one playground at a regional park that was familiar to me, which charges an entry fee, so you'll want to check for things like that, too. These caveats aside, if you're traveling or even just looking for some new play spaces, this directory is a great resource.

My daughter attended an OH (orthopedically handicapped) public school at one point. While she was there, the school had a wheelchair swing installed, which was wonderful. The only problem was that because the equipment was so expensive, it was kept locked during non-school hours. I was pleased to see other public schools on this list and hope that their playgrounds are open "after" hours.

One of the nicest (and inclusive) playgrounds I've ever been to isn't on this list. That's because it is at a children's hospital. Now, obviously, no one wants to go to a hospital just so they can use the play area, but, if you do happen to be at one - see if they have a playground! We used to go early for our appointments because that not only meant we would beat the traffic, but it also meant we had time to play.

Here's to playground where everyone can play!

6 comments:

  1. We are having an upswing in more inclusive playgrounds in our area. They are wonderful for the most part. I love the merry go rounds that are flush with the ground!

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    1. I haven't tried that yet. Sounds fun!

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  2. We have a brand new one in RVA... it is wonderful!

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    1. Is it on the list? You can add to the directory if something isn't there.

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  3. An inclusive playground with theraputic horse riding facilities is being built about 10 minutes away from my house. Would have love to have one available when I was a kid but awesome to see for kids now.

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    1. Now THAT is a playground I'd like to visit!

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