Creating Inclusive Outdoor Play Environments; Designing forAbility Rather than Disability
The Journal of Eyewitness in Special Education
Creating playgrounds for children with disabilities has become increasingly common. Unfortunately, focused on ensuring greater ‘accessibility’ and/or meeting Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, many professionals have created barrier-free environments for wheelchairs with little regard for the children who sit in them. As a result, many playgrounds that are developed for children with disabilities do the disabled child a disservice. This paper seeks to help professionals understand the difference between accessibility (the removal of physical barriers) and inclusion (the removal of social barriers). Appropriate design recognizes that a child with a disability is a child with abilities, and that activity -- rather than appliance -- oriented design creates a setting where all children may be included in the fun.
2006 Christensen, K.M. & Jeon, T.K. Creating Inclusive Outdoor Play Environments; Designing for Ability Rather than Disability. The Journal of Eyewitness in Special Education, 910(Sept-Oct); 48- 55.