Whole communities start with inclusively designed whole environments which carefully meet the needs of the whole child. Children want to ‘Be’ and feel fair, included, smart, independent, safe, active, and comfortable during play. Me2’s 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design focus on the usage of individual play activities as well as the context of the overall environmental design. By aligning these design principles and the specific guidelines and considerations, communities can create whole environments that support the active participation of all people, of all ages and all abilities.
Our National Demonstration Site (NDS) program recognizes communities for capturing their commitment to advancements in play and recreation. NDS spaces can be found in large destinations, urban pocket parks, schools, early childhood settings, senior centers, hospitality, rehabilitation hospitals, and more. Every play and recreation setting can help uniquely tell a community’s story and provide the critical benefits of play.
The best measure of an inclusive play destination’s success is how the community can actually use it. When a site follows the best practices provided by PlayCore and leading inclusive scholars and experts from Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities and Lekotek, they can be considered a National Demonstration Site of Inclusive Play.
Join us in celebrating inclusive play by visiting your local National Demonstration Site for Inclusive Play. Visit our website to find a park near you. Want to become a National Demonstration site? There are five designations available, inclusive play, youth fitness, adult fitness, NatureGrounds, and Playful Pathways. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
To get started, here are a few of our favorites:
Rotary Access for All Barrier-Free Playscape at Mattie McCollough Elementary School | Alberta, Canada:
Inspired by a student, classmates collaborated with teachers and their Principal to build an inclusive playground where they could all play together.
“This playground is more than just equipment. It’s freedom for everyone no matter their mobility levels, to play without barriers with each other. It’s a gathering place for families and communities to get to know each other and where imaginations can bloom.” - Kim Kirkwood, Vice Principal at Mattie McCullough Elementary School.
Miracle League of Chattanooga | Chattanooga, Tennessee:
This ball park allows children of all abilities to participate in America’s pastime, baseball. Along with the ballpark, Miracle League added a 7 Principles Inclusion NDS playground for all kids to have fun interacting with everyone.
“We will be breaking barriers, not just ground.” - Kim Chapman, co-founder of the Miracle League of Chattanooga.
One Heart Playground | Little Rock, Arkansas:
This inclusive site was inspired by Emma Watson, born with a congenital heart defect and Turner syndrome in 2012. Since her birth, her parents have made it their mission to advocate and educate the community. Continuing their passion to inspire others, they decided to take on a larger project with North Little Rock Park and Recreation to bring the community’s first ever inclusive playground.
“One Heart Playground is going to be where memorable moments happen for children of all ages and abilities." - Jeff Caplinger, Special Project Coordinator for North Little Rock Park and Recreation.
Daniel Chaparral Park | San Tan Valley, Arizona:
This park is the first inclusive playground in the community. Located near the Scottsdale Accessible Services Program building, it provides a place for all children in the after-school program to play with their peers.
“Being accessible doesn't always mean you're included ... our goal is to have those with disabilities with and not just alongside those who are able-bodied,” Jackson said.
To visit these sites and other inclusive playgrounds in your community, please visit our map to locate a site near you!