Want to bring more inclusive play to your community? Wondering how to get started? Need help with inclusive playground design? Curious how others are realizing the impact of their initiatives? PlayCore is here to help with a variety of scholarly resources, an insatiable desire to advocate for and support meaningful inclusive play initiatives, and a massive heart for bringing people of all abilities together in play.
By mobilizing resources and aligning advocacy efforts, we can raise awareness, break down barriers, foster friendships, unite communities across our nation, and achieve amazing outcomes. We must take action and provide inclusive play for every child, every play environment, and every community.
1. Make Your Case
Play is the right of every child. Creating opportunities to participate in inclusive, equitable play experiences throughout one’s life enhances the quality of life for children, families, and our greater society. Gather supporting data and build your case across a broad network. Begin by understanding how disabilities are represented in your community demographic by using online research sites like disabilityplanningdata.com or census.gov. Request PlayCore’s Inclusive Play Tool Kit to help you get started with planning checklists, community alignment tips, publicity and awareness templates, grant and funding sources, and more.
2. Educate and Engage Community Advocates
Once your initial research is underway, encourage others to advocate and invest in the process. Create an interdisciplinary committee of community stakeholders or hold a community input meeting to address specific needs and identify opportunities. Mobilize partners, champions, and potential funding opportunities. Plan a community celebration and continue to promote through marketing and planned programs or events.
Involving the public will take planning and discipline, but the rewards are many. A great place to develop advocates is by bringing training to your community. PlayCore’s continuing education opportunities can be tailored in order to meet the individualized needs of our audiences. We invite you to experience our interactive learning sessions that promote current research and best practices in the industry. CEUs, as applicable, are available through IACET, LACES, and AIA.
3. Plan, Design, and Use
The Me2 and 2 Play Together guidebooks can be valuable tools to help you raise awareness and provide credible resources to help build communities through inclusive play. Despite evidence that play is good for all people, the need is clear that we must thoughtfully plan, design, and program play spaces that are universally designed and truly inclusive for all people. Thinking strategically about how your inclusive play space can be programmed can greatly increase the usage of the space.
4. Become a National Demonstration Site
Want to join the movement to promote inclusive play for people of all ages and abilities? Want to share your story with others and gain national recognition? By involving your community in the planning process, thoughtfully aligning your outdoor play environment with the 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design, and working with us to measure outcomes after the site is open, your project can be designated as a National Demonstration Site and serve in a network of leadership case examples that address local needs and goals of community stakeholders, deploy research-based best practices throughout the environment, and focus on collecting meaningful outcomes.