PLAY FOR ALL Play without barriers
FIRST OF ALL: THE RIGHT TO PLAY
The U.N. convention on children's rights declares that: “The partner states respect and favour the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and encourage equal opportunities for leisure activities and freetime”. Article 31 recognizes the children's rights to play. Article 2 affirms that there should be no discrimination of children regarding their abilities.
On 29th May 2018 the Association Design for All Italy has awarded Legnolandia with the Design for All Quality Label 2018 for the Play For All Project. Read more.
PROJECT "PLAY FOR ALL"
"Play for all" project allows children to play all together in an inclusive way, regardless of their physical and mental abilities.
The aim of the European project of CEN is to integrate the parameters of inclusive accessibility in the general safety rules of the EN-1176, in order to create playgrounds that are not only safe but also accessible to all.
What are the characteristics of an inclusive area?
Inclusive playgrounds are equipped areas where children with physical or sensory disabilities or with movement problems can play and have fun in safety, together with all others children.
It means an equipment that can be used by a wide range of users with different abilities, without particular adaptations, without special designs. Many people hold a level of small or medium disability that does not require radical design like that for wheelchair users. The difference between an inclusive game and a game for the disabled then starts from the design.
Our goal is to designe areas where children to have fun together, without barriers and without divisions.
These projects allow the elimination of architectural barriers by the utilization of access ramps, paths for visually impaired children, tactile paths, raised horticulture tanks, double track slides, all designed to allow children with different abilities to play and learn together to their friends, brothers and parents. It is however unrealistic to expect that in an inclusive park all equipment can be accessible to all children, it is inevitable that some tools or parts of them will be specifically designed not to be accessible to certain groups of children, for example different ages or heights of fall could entail some risks. Children and families know this.
To include and not to divide: the right choice of inclusive equipment.
Some disabilities are unfortunately very profound or complex, but there are also many sensory disabilities, some children can not hear or see well, some other children have learning difficulties even if they have no physical limitations.
Official CEN statistics show that 5% of European children suffer from a certain degree of disability and that only 10% of them use wheelchairs; many of them are however able to move for short distances with the help of some supports. On the basis of this statistical data, CEN European directives suggest not to focus attention only on serious disabilities (wheelchair users), this to avoid the effect of reduce play value and that normal-gifted children do not show the desire of use these equipments, and that wheelchiar users feel alone in their activities.
Our intent is to allow disabled children to access play areas together with everyone, this helps them and their families to build relationships and promote social inclusion.
Example of swing for disabled:
swing used exclusively by wheelchair users and one at a time. NOT inclusive equipment, dangerous if used by able users. It is necessary to forbid the use without a wheelchair.
Example of inclusive swing:
swing equipped with a large horizontal nest basket or "high chair" for the inclusive game, all children can play together. Designed according the Europeans directives on inclusive play, to entertain without dividing.
The benefits of an inclusive playground:
Outdoor play areas offer therapeutic benefits for everyone: they are fun, help to keep children healthy, promote risk awareness, and socialization. In the past disabled children did not have the same play opportunities as other children, so the planning of inclusive public play spaces for everyone was missing. Today it is possible to offer play areas without barriers even for the most important citizens: the children.
Example of inclusive playgrounds:
Children do not need to access the game spaces in the same way but everyone has the right to play. For this reason a good design of the inclusive park is necessary, both of the structures inserted there and spaces around them and as well access roads.
How to design an inclusive playground:
First of all we need the competence: F.E.P.I. (Federation of the European Play Industry) for many years closely follows the theme of games for disabled children. The research activity is very important and consists in the collection and analysis of reports in the European context and the exchange in a network created between companies, non-profit organizations, institutions, parents, schools and childhood experts.
Legnolandia, historical component of F.E.P.I. knows well the "barriers" that block access to activities for disabled children. This is why, by adopting the European guidelines, we designe structures suitable for everyone, trying not to look only at disability but rather what children are able to do with their possibilities.
The result is a complete range of inclusive, educational and entertaining playgrunds that offer equal opportunities to children through restyling, instructions and practical tips on using the equipment.
Important aspects to consider when designing areas for inclusive play:
- Creation of fixed or mobile spaces (platforms) where children can station, play, perform activities that are free or simultaneously induced, all together.
- Provide cradle or larger seats in the standard.
- Provide games with side containment walls or backrests.
- Combining multiple values, for example: a tactile recognition panel can be created with odd and colourful shapes to entertain children who see well.
- Creation of games that involve the use of hands (such as the handling of water and sand) even while seated (on a wheelchair).
- Inserting the possibility of rest within the game, leave the transit space to prevent a still child from hindering the passage of others.
- Creation of covers on games with the function of shelter from sun and rain but not scalable by children.
- Provide spaces for carers also in order to allow them to simply hold hands with the child using the facilities.
- Insertion of natural devices that affect the sense of smell, hearing etc ...
- Creation of equipment that allows use by a chaperone seated on the side (example: basket).
- Provide adequate openings in access routes: such as gates and walkways with an opening of at least 120 cm.
- Provide playing surfaces that can be traveled by wheelchairs.
Legnolandia designs and manufactures its own inclusive structures with the goal to offer equal opportunities for children, trying not to look at the disablement but to focus on what the kids are able to do. For any equipment we release an identification sheet which indicates the inclusive play possibilities. we offer free consulting or planning for inclusive parks..Register here to request a free design of an inclusive playground area