PlayCore, together with our scholarly partners at Utah State’s Center for Persons with Disabilities, originated a unique and comprehensive inclusion philosophy that focuses not only on physically accessing an environment, but what happens once an individual gets there. By creating inclusive environments that equip children of all abilities with the means to play together more independently across five developmental domains, the whole child feels nurtured and respected, and can be active at play, which creates a sense of community across all children. Designing inclusive play environments that meet the 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design® is a critical first step in providing a foundation for inclusive play to occur.
Whole communities start with inclusively designed whole environments that meet the needs of the whole child. We believe a broader approach to inclusive play helps community advocates and professionals in their planning, development, and revitalization efforts, and offer evidence-based resources (meaning they are based on validated, scholarly research) to help communities build truly inclusive play environments that enhance the quality of life for all people.
The Whole Child
Our research continues to demonstrate the importance of play across the interconnected domains of child development: physical, social-emotional, sensory, cognitive, and communication. Children, and all individuals regardless of age or ability, need to be able to be active, exercise self-determination, engage socially, learn, understand, and experience an appropriate sensory environment to enhance their overall quality of life. Opportunities to participate in play create many benefits beyond physical ones, including positive reinforcement and self-esteem. Truly inclusive environments begin with an understanding and intentional design focus on these developmental needs of the whole child.
Research Based Whole Environments
Correctly designed whole environments support development in the unique context of the play setting. The 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design carefully tailor the adult focused 7 Principles of Universal Design to what children want to feel and experience and feel while at play, and are unique in the specific guidelines and considerations offered so that communities can create whole environments that support the active participation of people of all ages and abilities.
Celebrating the Whole Community
Inclusive play is the passion and purpose of our team. Together we can effectively promote inclusive play and a critical solution to enrich the quality of life for children and families, and enhance communities across the nation.