Playgrounds for All

Let's start with this, from a site called "Shane's Inspiration:

"'Shane's Inspiration' created the first Universally Accessible Playground in the Western United States and the largest in the nation: 'Shane's Inspiration.' Located in Griffith Park, 'Shane’s Inspiration' provides two acres of fully accessible, sensory-rich and physically challenging equipment.

"More importantly, this playground gives children with disabilities and children without the opportunity to play with and learn from each other, thus increasing awareness and acceptance."

Those are my italics. Because the idea of giving people of different abilities the opportunity to play and learn from each other (OK, I said "people," not only children) is, sadly, one that continues to strike most of us as revolutionary. And yet, for those of us who have had the fortune to experience such opportunities, it seems at least as important as the idea of universal education, at least as necessary, at least as vital to the revitalization of humanity.

Shane's Inspiration is one of many sources for inspiring us to reconsider how we build for play, and for whom. One of my favorites is in David Werner's Nothing About Us Without Us - a guide to "Developing Innovative Technologies For, By and With Disabled Persons" using little more than recycled materials, a sense of play, and inexhaustible compassion.

from Bernie DeKoven, funsmith

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