When designing for children with special needs some of the environmental barriers can be easily removed, such as uneven surfaces and narrow gates, however some of the social barriers such as fear and a lack of understanding of how children play should also be addressed. Here at Playgarden we want the best for your outdoor space which is why we place high value on using Landscape Architects, well versed in special needs play to create outdoor play opportunities.
As part of our commitment to you, we encourage consultation; of staff and children as the key users of the space to ensure the development of a good quality accessible play space. We understand play and inclusive design, giving full consideration to:
• Sensory awareness
• Flexibility and adaptability
• Health and well-being
• Safety and security
It is important to envisage the play space as a whole. The play space should enable people to use the area in different ways. It doesn’t always have to be about pieces of play equipment dominating and defining a play space.
Use of natural resources and textures can greatly enhance the quality of the play experience for disabled children. Think about water, flowers and grasses, wood and soil.
We also believe that risk is an important part of play for ALL children, including those with disabilities and vulnerable needs. Taking risks is an integral part of play it cannot be eliminated from an accessible play space for any child. When working on a play space design for disabled and vulnerable children, here at Playgarden we would rather they encounter acceptable risk, rather than have this excluded altogether… allowing them to go wild in a safe environment.