What Is Inclusive Playground Equipment?

Inclusive playground equipment enables children with all needs and abilities to enjoy playing with their friends. It is inclusive because nobody gets left out regardless of their limitations. Children with physical, cognitive, sensory and behavioural needs all benefit from inclusive playground equipment.

Children with physical disabilities or those who require the use of a wheelchair are able to use specially adapted equipment. While children with sensory processing disorders are able to satisfy their needs through rocking, swinging and spinning. Inclusive playground equipment looks and feels exactly the same as other equipment because of its clever design.

Outside play is extremely important for children with special needs because it prevents social isolation and allows them to make friends. Children learn to adapt play activities to incorporate the needs of their friends. Inclusive playground makes it easier for children of all abilities to play together resulting in more play opportunities.

Different Types Of Disabilities

The most obvious disabilities are those that affect our mobility. It is easy to spot a child in a wheelchair and give them the help they need. Some children suffer from invisible disabilities which manifest themselves as bad behaviour or meltdowns. It is difficult to understand this type of disability and understand the limitations it causes.

Invisible Disabilities

An invisible disability is a disability that is not obvious. Conditions such as; poor vision, hearing impairment, autism, diabetes, chronic pain, fatigue, heart and lung problems, kidney issues, mild cerebral palsy and brain damage are all hidden disabilities. They all restrict the lives of the people suffering from them but are not obvious to anyone else.

Children with breathing problems need to access equipment easily so it doesn’t compromise their breathing. Fatigue is difficult to understand if you haven’t experienced it but it makes being energetic and active challenging. Children on the Autistic Spectrum require equipment that is simple to use and supports their cognitive needs. While those with sensory processing disorders need equipment that relaxes or stimulates them.

Inclusive playground equipment accommodates those needs allowing children to make friends and enjoy playing with others.

Physical Disabilities

Physical disabilities are either hidden or obvious depending on how it affects the child. This type of disability affects the mobility of the person. Causes include accidents, loss of limbs, muscular dystrophies, spinal damage, cerebral palsy, inherited conditions, meningitis and brain injuries. Many of these disabilities affect a child’s ability to process information and causes cognitive impairment.

Occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech therapists suggest activities and exercises to help to overcome the disability. Inclusive playground equipment and the playground environment give children the perfect opportunity to participate in sociable physical exercise.

Children with mobility issues need not sit on the sidelines any more due to inclusive playground equipment.

Types Of Inclusive Playground Equipment

Inclusive and conventional playground equipment is very difficult to tell apart. This is because inclusive equipment is for everyone to use. Playdale has a wide range of inclusive equipment which has adaptations allowing all children to enjoy the fun.

The Inclusive Orbit, High-Speed Plus, Gravity Bowl, Team Swing, Gravity Rider, Loud Speaker and a range of sensory play panels are available for all playgrounds. A green badge with a picture of a wheelchair and the words, ‘Inclusive Design’, differentiates them from the rest of the equipment. Most Playdale equipment has elements of inclusivity but the ones with the green badge benefit from inclusive design.

A playground where everyone is welcome to play is a wonderful playground indeed. If you would like to find out more about inclusive playground equipment contact us and we would be happy to help. Request a catalogue and price list.

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