Whether designing an accessible playground for medically fragile children in a supervised environment or creating an all-inclusive destination playground in a public park, our experience covers the spectrum. Although all of our playgrounds meet or exceed the ADA requirements, these projects go way beyond those expectations!
L&A has included accessible play elements in our designs since we first began creating unique play spaces in the 1970s. Why you may ask? It’s simple–we spend a great deal of time listening to our clients. Although accessibility and all-inclusive play seem to be hot topics in playground design today, it’s always been a priority of ours to include play environments for children of all abilities.
L&A believes in the benefits of providing children the opportunity to learn, play, and grow together. Physical, developmental, and emotional challenges should not be a barrier in this process. We offer clients the ability to design and build all-inclusive playgrounds to meet their community’s needs. These projects can be found all across the US and range from approximately 10,000 to 16,000 square feet.
Our staff regularly stays up-to-date on ADA requirements and trends. Trainings, conferences and in-office review sessions all assist us in our continued education and furthering our learning. We take this knowledge and use it in design charettes, design days and the design development process. Our talented design staff coupled with the children’s imagination creates the best all-inclusive playgrounds available!
Leathers and Associates is a long-time advocate of fully-inclusive play. We believe in creating exciting play opportunities which offer a range of challenges for children of all different abilities, to encourage shoulder-to-shoulder play and socialization.
Our strategies include:
- Accessibility. Our fully inclusive playgrounds allow children of all levels of mobility to access all areas of the playground, including the elevated sections.
- Parallel play. We look for opportunities to group similar types of play experiences with different levels of difficulty and/or different access capabilities (such as low and high monkey bars), so that children of different abilities can play side-by-side.
- Play value. We look for low-barrier equipment that is popular among all children, which promotes cooperative play and socialization: children with special needs can play directly with their typically-abled peers because these pieces are exciting and sought out by all. We provide a design that offers children the ability to develop and experience sensory-rich play. In addition, Leathers’ inclusive playgrounds are impressive and unique, and typically become destination playgrounds, further encouraging a mix of children from all over an area.
- Addressing all types of developmental issues. We have developed approaches and equipment that serve a full range of needs, including those of children with autism, sight and hearing limitations, and cognitive and developmental delays.
- Dialogue with the special needs community. While we look for a well-rounded play experience that serves all groups, we also talk to children, teachers, therapists and caregivers to learn about the particular needs of a given community so that we can make certain to serve a community’s specific needs. We have also found this to be an excellent way to improve our understanding of special needs issues and how we may address them.
Our best possible outcome is a project that allows children of all abilities to meet, interact, learn, and grow together. L&A playgrounds provide a wide range of activities so that all children have an exciting experience and challenge their own abilities. We are proud of the playgrounds we have built and are always looking to go further and do more to bring fun and joy into the lives of children, caregivers, and the community.
Contact us now to learn more about the importance of all-inclusive play, find an all-inclusive playground near you or find out how you can volunteer to help build an all-inclusive playground!