An Inclusive Alberta

One of Variety Alberta’s initiatives is to support playground builds within Alberta and see all playgrounds – whether new or refurbished, be built with inclusive and accessible features so all children regardless of ability can play at the park with their peers.

We can assist in the development of inclusive playgrounds throughout our province that promotes dignity, understanding and respect among all children including children with ability diverse needs.

We are offering our support to bring ideas, research and funding to assist in making sure every project maximizes the options available to give every child an equal right to play.

How we can offer support:

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.

Playground Design

We will work with community partners to identify playgrounds throughout the province that are currently well used, but not fully inclusive for children with specialized needs. We will create a strategy based on each playground and community need and will assemble a team to work with partners and community members to design the space and support with the playground build from start to finish.

Community Outreach

We will support each park build by supporting the community with its fundraising efforts and will give a Variety Playground Inclusion grant to each park. We will work with the communities and help them with raising awareness of the need to include accessibility and inclusivity in their park and support their fundraising.

Education and Best Practices

We will support community members with training opportunities on playground equipment designs that benefit the physical and cognitive growth and development of ability diverse children through inclusive play spaces and inclusive play experiences.

Aquatic wheelchair at Variety Park

Our Services:

  • Research and Best Practices: Bringing the most current research on play design and space to encompass the spectrum of ability diverse needs (mobility; cognitive; sensory) in an interactive space.

  • Collaboration and Partnerships: Bringing together community and organizational experts for additional support and resources.

  • Fundraising: Offering support with fundraising for each project.

  • Financial Management of Donations and Tax Receipts: We can solicit, receive, issue tax receipts, and manage all financial aspects of the playground including grant writing and final report writing.

The following are the community parks that we are supporting in 2019, to create more inclusive play spaces:

Ramsay Park – Calgary

Variety Park – Calgary

Blackfalds – Alberta