Inclusive playgrounds, A play area for everyone

Afamour defends a design of these spaces with a global vision that guarantees accessibility to children with diverse physical and intellectual abilities

Inclusion, Accessibility, Learning and fun. These four values are essential when projecting, Develop and open to citizens a playground, as they defend from Afamour. The Spanish Association of Manufacturers of Urban Furniture and Playgrounds considers that These spaces must respond to the recreational needs of the youngest while allowing them to put their physical and intellectual skills into practice, regardless of the degree of capacity of each of them. Proof of this is the Recent campaign that they have promoted and that bears the title 'We all like to play'.

The commitment to accessibility, as explained by the president of Afamour, Look at Jimenez, must be done from “A global view”. In this sense, Jimenez argues that “No accessible item exists, but children's spaces must present different types of accessibility, each adapted to the different children and their needs”, so as not to segregate individuals. Applying this consideration in the design of an accessible playground, The space will count from a playful point of view with elements arranged for the interaction of a heterogeneous set.

In this sense, Inclusive play spaces go beyond accessibility needs and universal design solutions. In addition, aim to facilitate a variety of play experiences and challenges for all people to participate socially and fully in all activities. offered, your way, with a sense of being part of something. It's about encouraging An environment where coexistence and diversity are respected and valued.

This is reflected in the Guide '12 good practices. Recommendations for success in the creation of a children's play area', prepared by Afamour in collaboration with the Spanish Association of Public Parks and Gardens (Aepjp). A document that underlines that inclusion in these spaces will allow Users can enjoy the game and the area in the company of other children and families, without segregating anyone according to their abilities.


Criteria to ensure accessibility and universal design in playgrounds

Have A reference document around playgrounds allows urban furniture manufacturers and local administrations to ensure universal accessibility and design. In this sense, Afamour's guide of good practices establishes a series of recommendations to ensure game elements for everyone:

  • Offer multiple recreational activities at ground level and include some with dynamic movement. They have to allow the experimentation of sensations and constitute challenges that encourage them to develop their skills and excel.
  • Ensure that the main element of the leisure area have at least A way to access and enjoy together so that no child feels left out.
  • Choose elements that favor that children can play accompanied, safely and participating in the Excitement of enjoying together.
  • Include game elements designed so that develop physical skills, Social, Cognitive, emotional and creative.

To these recommendations of Afamour, A series of Principles for designing accessible play spaces:

  • Equitable use, where people with diverse abilities can participate without feeling segregated.
  • Flexibility of use to ensure that all children, depending on your capabilities and preferences, have the opportunity to experience different levels of difficulty.
  • Simple and intuitive to use, easy to understand, regardless of user experience, Language ability, and the level of knowledge and concentration at the time of the game.
  • Perceptible information that allows users to explore, interact and participate as effectively and independently as possible.
  • Fault tolerance, guaranteed by having the elements to minimize dangers and errors contemplated in the UNE-EN technical standard 1176.
  • Low physical exertion that allows its use efficiently, with elements that make it easier for users to participate minimizing unnecessary effort and fatigue.
  • Size and space for access and use in conditions of comfort, Security, equality and autonomy for all people, even those with motor skills, sensory or cognitive different.

Also, Different studies carried out in collaboration with entities of people with disabilities respond to what an inclusive playground should ensure:

  • The Accessibility outside and inside of the park.
  • Resources and Alternatives for access and use of existing elements so that everyone can participate and play according to their abilities.
  • Variety of sensory and playful experiences with physical benefits, Cognitive, emotional and social.

With the application of these principles and the professional experience of its associates, Afamour ensures accessibility of playgrounds, as well as the interrelation between children and their families in these spaces. A reality confirmed by the 'Analysis of user profile of playgrounds in Spain', carried out by the Technological Institute of children's products and leisure, and what shows that the 81% of parents with children of 0 to 3 years play with them in the park. The percentage is 66% for parents with children of 4 to 7 years, and the 44% for those of 8 years or more.

Ensuring accessibility in playgrounds is essential. They are spaces that have become places of learning, Fun and conviviality, that become part of the urban scene and transcend, sometimes, to the cultural field. “This new vision has to do with very broad concepts of citizenship and this is where inclusion comes in.”, reasons Miren Jimenez.

The variety of play experiences and challenges allows people to participate socially and fully in an environment favorable to coexistence and diversity