Playspaces: Adventurous and Inclusive

A small boy crawls over a branch laying on the ground. He is in a woodland setting and wearing winter clothes. Concepts of play can be designed into many different places – not just the standard urban park. Making play areas inclusive is becoming the norm now – not singling out specific play equipment for children with disability. And not calling them “all abilities” play spaces either. If they are inclusive they don’t need a special name. We need to add adults into the design as well. Younger children only get to go if an adult takes them. And that adult might have a disability. That means moving away from the modular play equipment found in catalogues as the total solution.

Sanctuary magazine has a great article on nature play in parks and home gardens. Play for All Australia, based in the northern beaches of Sydney, is mentioned in the article titled, Playspaces: Child’s play gets serious. Touched by Olivia has achieved many of its aims and is now part of Variety which is continuing advocacy for inclusive play spaces. The NSW Department of Planning has followed up on this movement with the development of the Everyone Can Play guideline and a second year of funding for local government authorities in NSW. 

Note that there will be two presentations on inclusive play spaces at UD2020 universal design conference.

For academics, the article is also available from Informit.  

State of Play 2019

Front cover of the report showing a girl in a pink dress being pushed in a chair by a boy in a blue shirt. They are laughing.Play is an essential part of a child’s development. The Touched by Olivia foundation conducted an online survey between August 2018 and January 2019. With 482 responses, the State of Play report provides a useful snapshot of play in Australia. It also lists the reasons people go to play spaces.

Touched by Olivia Foundation has a new playmate: Variety – The Children’s Charity. Together they will continue to promote and support inclusive playspaces across Australia. The aim of both charities was helped along last year by the NSW Government and their Everyone Can Play project. Universally designed play spaces welcome everyone no matter age or level of capability. They are places everyone can enjoy.

Editor’s Note: The report is published online with Issuu. Unfortunately, in full view, pop up advertisements make reading the report something of an obstacle course. There is no option for PDF download.