How Do You Make a Playground Inclusive?
It is a common mistake that gets made all the time and that is the fact that people mistake accessible for inclusive. This is a common mistake and many do not realize that there is a difference between the two words. Here is an example of how being accessible is not the same as being inclusive. A playground may be equipped with swings that those with disabilities can use. The problem becomes that the ADA complaint rubber material does not allow those that rely on a wheelchair from being able to use these swings. The good news is that there are a lot of companies that can come out and help you to design and plan out a playground that will be inclusive for all people regardless of the situation. There are a few things that you can do to help build awareness and to help to create the ideal playground.
Smaller Is Not Always a Bad Thing
It’s okay if you have to go small with your playground. Regardless of whether the playground is already in place or if it is being built from the ground up, you can make a big impact with small changes. When making updates to a playground, be sure that you include a way for playground visitors of any ability to access the area. One suggestion for accomplishing this is to install or replace existing playground fill material with a rubber mulch ground covering. This material is still safe, but is easier for many playground visitors to access than trying to cross wood chips.
Take Inventory of Your Play Area
This can be a good place for you to begin taking stock of what is and is not working on a existing playground. A professional playground installation contractor can help provide suggestions for areas that may need a few updates to become inclusive. If you’re still in the planning phase, share your vision with a professional contractor. They can tell you which areas you’ll need to make more inclusive. Some areas can be a problem if you don’t see them and could lead to kids feeling that they are being left out of enjoying the play area.
Have a Plan of Action
It is never a good idea to go about updating or building a playground without a plan of action. If you don’t have a plan, then you will find yourself having a lot of issues that you may not have thought about. The planning phase of this will expose any weak areas that you have in the plan. Using a professional contractor with experience building or upgrading playgrounds is encouraged as they will be able to help you avoid unseen pitfalls.
Have a Budget in Mind
You do not want to head into a new construction project without a budget that you have set aside. Often if you don’t do this, you will get in trouble fast and find yourself not able to complete the project. This will lead to a lot of drama as you will have a half complete project and make the situation that much worse. Planning ahead to update or build an inclusive playground will save you both time and money.
Looking for more information about making a playground inclusive? Contact T. F. Harper & Associates LP, an Austin construction company, to learn more.