A Design Checklist for Inclusive Playgrounds
Equality in play
All children are different. They each have their personality, their strengths, their individuality. But universally they share an urge to play. According to KOMPAN Play Institute research, children, including children with disabilities, share common wishes for playgrounds to be thrilling, with varied play activities and being with friends.
Since the establishment of the KOMPAN Play Institute in the Eighties, inclusive play and universal design have been part of KOMPAN DNA. Universal design welcomes all users, regardless of their abilities. It means an inclusive approach: all people cannot necessarily play on everything, but all should be able to play on something. We call it play for all. Equity in playground access and use is a fundamental responsibility of our communities. The KOMPAN Play Institute is there to make sure that the right, documented solutions are provided.
The mission of inclusive play is to unite everyone, regardless of their abilities, through play.
If you are thinking about designing a playground for all, check out our guide on how to design an inclusive playground.
Play for all - universal designs for inclusive playgrounds
This publication showcases KOMPAN Play Institute’s recommendations for universal and inclusive playgrounds, based on inspirational cases of universal playgrounds, design points for universal play equipment, and the Institute’s most recent research and user observation on inclusive play.
Universal design and inclusive playgrounds are fundamental to KOMPAN’s DNA.
The KOMPAN Play Institute has engaged in testing and developing play activities for all children including children with disabilities, since the early 1990s.
An inclusive playground can be accessed and enjoyed by all children – with and without disabilities.
Children with disabilities also want thrilling play activities with friends
This study examines the degree to which non-specialized, age appropriate play equipment and playgrounds can be usable to children with mobility and learning disabilities, as well as to typically developing children. Good inclusive playgrounds aren’t more complicated, more time or space consuming than other playgrounds. Read the white paper to make well-informed decisions about what kind of playgrounds are truly inclusive and highly thrilling for all their users. Cooperative play between children with disabilities and typically developing children is beneficial to all. It improves self-efficiency, tolerance, and empathy in both groups.
Therefore, KOMPAN’s aim is to make playgrounds more inclusive, by drawing upon universal play formulas. Simply stated: to unite children in play.
Children with disabilities have less than half the chance of accessing playgrounds
Play between children with disabilities and typically developing children support the areas of self-efficiency, tolerance, and empathy in both user groups.
This survey from the KOMPAN Play Institute shows that 71% of the wheelchair users found their nearest playground to be inaccessible. It further points out what activities the children prefer.
Playgrounds are well-known motivators for effectively getting children to be physically active, in a fun way.
However, in order for this to truly apply for children with or without disabilities, playgrounds need to be equally accessible and interesting to both groups.