“All work and no play will make Jack a dull boy.” The quote is often used by a lot of people to refer to the importance of playing to children. Playing enhances the kid’s mind. It promotes physical activities, and it facilitates learning. These are the reasons why a lot of communities, day care centers, schools and churches started putting playground on their vicinities. Though, despite that these play areas are open to every child, many of them are not handicap accessible.
According to a 2010 census, out of the 53.9 million children aging five to 17, about 2.8 millions were reported to have disability. These numbers include children with hearing disabilities, vision difficulties, ambulatory difficulties, and self-care difficulties. Most often than not, these children are denied to access of many play equipment available in their communities. That is the reason why the U.S. Access Board has developed the accessibility guidelines in the American Disability Act (ADA). The guidelines seek freedom for children with disabilities to play and interact with other children. The guidelines gave the idea of putting ramps and ADA play equipment in playgrounds to give handicap children access to different playground facilities.
Why is handicap accessible or ADA play equipment important?
Promote equality: Despite disabilities, all PWD wants to live normally and do things able persons do. Handicap accessible play equipment enables children with disability to access what other kids enjoy. It normalizes their development and growth despite impairment.
Promote social interaction: Usually, disabled children had inclusive playground where they interact with other children with disabilities like them. It can be beneficial as well if you try to bring them in an accessible play area where they can interact with able person. The interaction facilitates social growth and development.
Develop positive outlook: Handicap accessible play equipment changes the psychology of the children with imparity. Normally, children with disability grow shy and inferior. They always see their impairment as a hindrance to personal growth. It is important that while they are still young, you instill in their mind that they are gifted, but they can do what able children can do. Letting them play in an accessible playground with other children can be a good foundation. It does not only give enjoyment to them but also aids in the development of positivity and self-confidence.
Develop child’s fitness: Handicap accessible equipment can aid in the therapy of some children with disability. It will allow them to move, use their mind and socialize. Play equipment can enhance their different skills and assists learning something new.
Handicap accessible play equipment under ADA guidelines is very beneficial to the development of children with disabilities. In constructing playground in your community, always consider these gifted kids by putting ramps in the play area. Adding other play equipment especially designed for the handicap is a brilliant idea as well.
Make playgrounds accessible to all so there will be no left out—handicapped or not!