The Liberal Government will establish an Inclusive Play Working Group to develop guidelines for local councils and other agencies to use when designing and building safe and fun play spaces that are accessible for children with disability.
These guidelines will provide a tool for local government and other agencies to improve outcomes for children with disability and their families and carers, remove barriers to access and increase inclusion.
Currently, there are no such guidelines in South Australia for inclusive play spaces.
The working group will be established with relevant stakeholders with expertise in disability, children, built environments, sport and recreation.
The group will consider what limitations and barriers children with disability may face when participating in play spaces and how to increase access and inclusion.
The formation of a working group comes as the Marshall Liberal Government announced it would partner with the City of Adelaide to build an inclusive playground in the CBD in honour of Quentin Kenihan’s life, ensuring the disability advocate’s dream becomes a reality.
“I am particularly passionate about this project because the new guidelines will make it easier for councils and agencies to build safe and fun play spaces for children living with disability,” said Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink.
“Outdoor play gives children opportunities to engage with others, explore and have fun.
“Many children with disability, their families and carers however, face barriers to participating in public play spaces. Inclusive playgrounds build stronger communities through increased awareness and acceptance of diversity.”
Inclusive playgrounds are specifically designed playgrounds to be used by people with a wide range of disabilities, which may include mobility, vision and hearing impairment and autism.
The new inclusive play guidelines are intended to include:
- Achievable solutions and improvements to make play spaces suitable and welcoming for children with disability
- Risks and dangers to be avoided
- Guidance on developing inclusive play spaces
Inclusive Sport SA Chief Executive Officer John Cranwell said he was “thrilled” to contribute to the working group.
“Inclusive Sport SA is thrilled to contribute to this working group to create vibrant accessible play spaces that are inclusive of people with disability along with their friends, family members and the entire community,” Mr Cranwell said.
“Building more spaces that offer good quality play areas will bring about the true goal of social inclusion, where all children have the opportunity to play together.
“Inclusive design is not about play spaces being solely for people living with a disability, but rather using creativity to design a space that all of the community can use together.”
The first working group meeting is anticipated to take place in February, with the guidelines intended to be finalised later this year.