Inclusive play enables everyone to connect with their surroundings, with other people and with themselves.
The South Australian Government has produced a practical guide making playspaces inclusive. Connection is a key element: Connect with place, Connect with each other, and Connect with self.
- Connect with place: A place without barriers that is easy for everyone to acces and enhances the existing environment.
- Connect with each other: Facilities and equipment that encourage everyone to interact and play with each other while feeling safe and welcome.
- Connect with self: An experience that help every individual activate their senses, stimulate their imagination and challenge their limits.
The first step in the design process is checking that everyone can get there and access the place. The second step is to make sure everyone can easily find their way around. The third step is to remember access to the fun stuff – is the equipment accessible? Environmental factors such as shade, natural features and nearby accessible facilities conclude the list.
The guide continues with advice on community consultation, encouraging intergenerational activities, and thinking about amenity – seating, toilets, lighting and safety.
The guide touches on aspects of play such as considering the senses and challenging activities across ages and levels of capability. The document concludes with some checklists for the preceding elements. These cover access, landscaping elements, layout, safety and location.
The guide is easy to follow and shares some similarities with the NSW Government’s Everyone Can Play guide.
You can download the guide from the South Australian Government website.
The document was found in a literature review of universal design play guidelines. The review is titled, “Designing public playgrounds for inclusion: a scoping review of grey literature guidelines for Universal Design.