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Variety Alberta is currently identifying communities throughout Alberta that we will work with and support in building inclusive playgrounds.
We see all too often, playground designs that are not created with children who have specialized needs in mind – things such as pea gravel; wood chip surfacing; playground equipment that does not accommodate for assistive devices (or those that do, often lack play value for the children who use assistive devices on a daily basis); equipment that lacks different physical entrance points to accommodate ability diverse needs; and playgrounds that lack features for children with cognitive and sensory challenges (i.e. quiet spaces for children who are autistic to desensitize).
When playgrounds are not built for all children, they not only create barriers that prohibit children from playing but also prevent children from interacting with other children – something that is necessary for breaking down negative perceptions associated with disabilities and allowing for opportunities for interactive play.