While on the playground, children with visual impairments need the opportunity to explore, take risks freely, and develop socially, emotionally, and physically – just like all children do. However, the way they play and take in the world around them is different. When designing your new playground, take into consideration elements you can incorporate that will create an inclusive space for children with visual impairments.
Children with visual impairments utilize their other senses when playing and exploring. For example, a child may run their hands along a surface to learn the object’s shape or listen to the surrounding sounds to understand where they are on the playground.
Here are a few ways to design an inclusive playground for children with visual impairments:
– Include surfaces with varying textures that children with visual impairments can feel. Consider adding in panels with Braille writing. Be mindful of adding these features at ground level, as not all children will want to/ are able to climb.
– Sounds are a great way for children with visual impairments to learn about their surrounding environment but can also be a fun activity. Midstates Recreation has many outdoor musical instruments to help create a great sensory play experience. Check out a few examples here!
– Create a multi-sensory experience for children of all abilities by adding a sensory table to your playground. This table can be an area for play with sand or water, for example. A sensory table provides a great, low-pressure choice where children can play and explore.
Brightly Colored Equipment
– Choosing colorful playground equipment and structures can help children with visual impairments see things more easily.
– Boundaries should include features that are easily recognizable. Some choices to consider include fences, guidewires, and railings. Combining bright patterns and noticeable textures on these boundaries and other areas where safety could be of concern can be of great help in keeping all children safe.
Adding specific accommodations into your playground design plans can help all children enjoy the playground to its fullest extent. Creating an accessible, inclusive playground with considerations for children with visual impairments encourages these children to create connections with their peers.
Now that you have some ideas of how to create an inclusive playground for children with visual impairments let us help you bring your ideas to life. Midstates Recreation designs, supplies, and builds community-enhancing recreational play and site structures. Midstates Recreation offers a variety of playground equipment in communities located in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan. Our emphasis is not only to create play and recreation spaces for all but to also provide a truly valuable and inclusive addition to your community! Contact your local sales representative to learn more.