Universal Playground Design
We understand the importance of play and physical activity in development and well-being, and play that provides challenges and a sense of achievement should not be reserved solely for those with full functionality, the strongest, or the most skilled.
PLAY AND ACTIVITY ARE EQUALLY IMPORTANT FOR EVERYONE!
At Rampline, our fundamental belief is that skill development through play should be accessible to all. Inclusive design is therefore a central focus in our product development and the design of recreational facilities. Here is our checklist for universal design.
An EXCITING PLAYGROUND, REGARDLESS OF ABILITY
One common question many ask is how to design a playground that is exciting for everyone while remaining accessible to those with disabilities.
As developers and designers, we at Rampline seek opportunities within limitations. Our solutions aim to invite everyone equally, ensuring that all individuals can find something they can master based on their abilities. We emphasize free physical activity based on the user’s own imagination, without competitive elements.
With such an approach, we create an activity area that caters to a wide age range and is particularly appealing to girls. Surprisingly, achieving this is entirely possible even with a small number of play equipment.
By using play equipment with easy entry points while also offering challenges, everyone can access the play area while still providing enough stimulation for children with a range of physical abilities.
Correct spacing between the play equipment and a solid ground cover, such as artificial grass or wet pour rubber/EPDM, is also crucial to allow wheelchair users to move around. Spacing also provides enough space for a companion, for those who may need a hand to hold.
CHECKLIST FOR UNIVERSAL DESIGN
THE IMPORTANCE OF BALANCE
Balance is fundamental to all human movement. It’s essential for everyone to regularly train it, especially for those with motor challenges. Rampline’s Motor Skills Parks are exceptional when it comes to balance training and development.
Balance training can take many forms. Individuals with already well-developed balance and body control will always find new challenges with Rampline’s play and activity equipment. For those with reduced mobility, poor balance, strength, endurance, or even weak vision, it’s entirely possible to challenge their balance. This can be achieved by, for example, lying over a ball or a balance line, or moving on one of the wider, wavy balance benches, gradually increasing the difficulty level.
In this way, everyone can experience mastery at their own level by achieving something they may not have been able to do the week before. The result is a playground where everyone can play together on their own terms.
WHAT IS UNIVERSAL DESIGN?
The UN convention has formulated the following definition regarding the rights of people with disabilities:ncha
Universal design refers to the design of products, environments, programs, and services in such a way that they can be used by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or special design.
An interdisciplinary group at the Center of Universal Design in the USA has developed the Seven Principles of Universal Design, which are also an important reference for universal design in Norway. For more information on universal design and the seven principles, read more here.