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Posts Tagged ‘Inclusive Play’

Understanding Autism with Tailor Ed Foundation

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At Inclusive Play, we are committed to learning about the different challenges people face, both professionally and in every day life for parents, carers, adults and children alike. We strive to educate ourselves so we can continue to provide the best inclusive products and design on the market.

Last week on September 7th 2017, members of the Inclusive Play team attended an Understanding Autism workshop led by Pete from Tailor Ed Foundation, hosted at The Yard.

The Understanding Autism workshop provides up to date understanding of autism and includes examples of how autism affects different people in different ways. It provides a method to think about how autism affects children and opportunities to consider this.

It was an extremely informative workshop and it was great to have open discussion about inclusive play opportunities for children with autism and the use of creating quiet spaces in outdoor play.

Thank you to Pete for hosting the fantastic workshop and The Yard for hosting, we look forward to attending more workshops in the coming months!

 

 

 

Inclusive Play Conference 2017

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On July 4th 2017 we hosted our first Inclusive Play Conference at Chelmsford Hylands Estate. We welcomed a diverse group of delegates to our conference: Park Project Officers, Landscape Designers, Parents, Carers, and representatives from Local Authorities, Friends Groups and Support Groups.

Our objectives for the day were to share understanding about what “inclusive” really means and how to achieve inclusivity, introduce our delegates to PiPA, look at play spaces from a landscape architects point of view and most importantly, take time to listen and learn from families and carers’ perspectives on their lives caring for children with additional support needs.

We were thrilled to have a number of guest speakers at the conference including Michael Hoenigmann, Director of Jupiter Play, Rachel Carvoso, from Sunshine Centre and Inclusive Play staff.

Jayne Pullen from Liz Lake Associates, recently wrote a blog reflecting on her time with us concluding that, “the conference really highlighted the responsibility we have as landscape architects to help champion the ethos that truly accessible and inclusive play areas become the norm.” You can read Jayne’s full blog on the Liz Lake website, here.

Having talked all things inclusive throughout the day it seemed fitting that we wrapped up our conference with a tour (and play!) of theDestination PiPA play area at the Hylands Estate.

If you’d like to receive updates on our future events or conferences please email: info@inclusiveplay.com to register your interest.”

First Scottish Destination PiPA Awarded At Drumpellier

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Inclusive Play are delighted to award Drumpellier Country Park play area with PiPA status, making this site the first Scottish play area to be awarded as a Destination PiPA.

“The Crannog” play area at Drumpellier Country Park was opened to the public in June 2017. The play area is themed around an iron-age “crannog”, a traditional dwelling house constructed on stilts over water. This bespoke inclusive structure was designed by Jupiter Play and produced by their partners at FHS. Funding for this project was provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, CultureNL, WREN and North Lanarkshire Council.

The entire unit can accommodate wheelchair usage and the main entrance walkway, outer platforms and inner ’roundhouse’ are also fully accessible. Other key inclusive features are: AudioNetic sound makers, musical features, tactile carvings, pendulum swing with basket and low lying nets with mirrored ceiling. The key design consideration was to capture all aesthetic elements of a Crannog whilst including progressive play, sensory elements, risk and continued challenge for children at all levels of their development. No child is left behind as there is an access route for every ability; once a child feels some self-assurance, they can try out tougher routes. There are a wide variety of options to choose from in deciding how to access, move around and exit the play structure. The layout encourages children to practice making choices and exercise cognitive function experiencing the consequences of those choices in a safe and secure setting.

Joanne Talbot, Business Manager of Inclusive Play said, “it has been a great experience working in partnership with Culture NL and the Jupiter Play design team to create such a special location. As this is the first Destination PiPA site in Scotland it is really a testament to everyone’s hard work and dedication to achieving a fully inclusive play space. The Crannog at Drumpellier Park is the true meaning of inclusion.”

If you’d like to find out more information about PiPA or view other PiPA awarded play areas across the UK, click here to look at our PiPA Map.

Watch Hawthorn Heights Ltd drone view video from The Crannog opening day in June, below.

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PiPA Debate in Scottish Parliament

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For anyone who hasn’t heard of our PiPA toolkit, this may well change as we continue to campaign and champion for it at Scottish Parliamentary level.

We began discussing PiPA with Linda Fabiani MSP back in 2014 when a group of parents were frustrated by the lack of inclusive provision in their area. This is not an unusual scenario and Inclusive Play were highly aware that the understanding around disability and inclusivity was low with regards to the play environment. This led to the development of the PiPA (Plan Inclusive Play Areas) project with KIDS the Disabled Children’s Charity and Occupational Therapist Amy Wagenfield.

This working group created a toolkit to harness the expert knowledge of the team and the industry to help support anyone designing or wanting to campaign for inclusive play areas by providing qualitative and quantittaive evidence on how to shape better rounded play spaces.

PiPA has already been picked up by Accessible Britain Challenge, KIDS, London Play to name a few, and this week we went back into parliament to speak to MSP’s on how this can be embedded further in Scotland’s Play Charter and policy. Watch this space….

PiPA in Scottish ParliamentPictured above are Paul Hoenigmann and Joanne Talbot, of Inclusive Play

Inclusive Play Talk to BBC On Lack of Inclusive Play Areas in UK

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Lord Blunkett unveiled a report by the charity Sense that disabled children are being failed at every level to access opportunities to play.

A range of reasons have been cited; a lack of focus by the Government, insufficient funding and negative attitudes by parents, all contribute to major barriers for disabled children accessing play like any other child.

Meghan Kemp, General Manager from Inclusive Play was invited to a live debate on BBC Radio London Drivetime alongside Lord Blunkett and Lesley Rogers who chaired the inquiry by charity Sense.

Meghan described her own personal experiences at public play spaces with her brother who has Down syndrome, and how negative reactions, often from parents, can really inhibit families from accessing the little provision that is available.

Passionate to make a change and highlight the need for all children to play, Inclusive Play developed PiPA (Plan Inclusive Play Areas) a tool that assists any play provider to understand how to design for a range of disabilities.

‘We need to see more adoption of this tool and a commitment to inclusive design. Every child deserves the right to reach their full potential and play is a massive part of that.’ says Meghan. For more information on PiPA visit www.inclusiveplay.com

Inclusive Play Sign Sol Joel

PiPA in Politics

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Every local authority across the country manage and own a portfolio of community playgrounds, yet there is no structure in place that ensures a proportion of these are truly inclusive. In a bid to change this Inclusive Play has been working tirelessly with a number of great organisations and individuals to create PiPA (Plan Inclusive Play Areas) to make the process of designing inclusive play areas much easier.

General Manager, Kristina Hinks, met with Linda Fabiani MSP at Scottish Parliament to campaign for this to be a requirement of Local Authorities in Scotland. Linda Fabiani is backing a campaign led by families of disabled children for better inclusive play facilities in East Kilbride and has been a real supporter of the PiPA tool.

The next step is to take PiPA to the Children’s Minister and see how we can start to make change and inform new policy for better access to community facilities for children with disabilities and special needs. Watch this space!

The First PiPA Designed Inclusive Playground

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Earley Town Council are close to completion of the UK’s very first designed from scratch PiPA Inclusive Playground at Sol Joel. The park is designed to be fully inclusive for all children and will engage youngsters with special needs and disabilities.

Earley Town Council, together with the support of Wokingham Borough Council, have been busy consulting with representatives of Reach Wokingham, Peapods and the Special Educational Needs Department at Earley St. Peter’s School (the School backs on to the Park).

It was increasingly apparent that the region is without a choice of free inclusive play area facilities, a fact that is backed up by KIDS the Disabled Children’s Charity who have found less than 47% of play spaces are accessible across the UK.

To remedy that Earley Town Council worked with the Inclusive Play’s PiPA (Plan Inclusive Play Areas) tool to create a fantastic multi-sensory project designed together with Jupiter Play and Inclusive Play.

The play area will be open in time for the school summer holidays 2015.

 

Up on the roof

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When space becomes an issue, why not take your project to the roof? This is what the team at Educarium in Poland decided to do when working with Bydgoszcz main hospital, Bydgoszcz.

The Inclusive Play Orbs and Mezzo are featured as part of a sensory and ground game trail that also provides a more playful view for the patients staying at the hospital.

Offering playful respite is a great to unwind for patients of any age and Inclusive Play are often engaged with many medical and respite centers to create uplifting playful and therapeutic environments.

Want to know more? Contact us on 0131 2141023 or info@inclusiveplay.com now.

New focus for Inclusive Play

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Inclusive Play Appoint New General Manager

Following 5 years research into the needs of disabled children, Inclusive Play have designed and developed an exciting range of play products that encourage users of all abilities to play together. As the only company in Europe to specialise in this area, Inclusive Play is uniquely placed to capitalise on its strong reputation in the UK playground market.

Ambitious growth plans will see the company launch a number of new innovative designs and establish distribution channels throughout Europe over the next 12 months.

To support this growth, Inclusive Play has appointed Kristina Hinks to the role of General Manager. Kristina has 10 years of experience within the play industry and brings with her valuable experience in the areas of business development, design and project management. She will lead the development of new products in consultation with our partners.

Kristina comments “I am delighted to join Inclusive Play in this key period of development. There is a strong demand for products which enable those with disabilities to play alongside their peers and this is exactly what Inclusive Play provides. We have the opportunity to effect positive changes to play spaces ensuring that they are well designed and cater for all children regardless of ability.”

Further collaboration between IP and specialists within the industry will further strengthen the range of products and services we provide as we expand into the European market. We will continue to work hard to ensure that children, regardless of their ability, can play and learn together.

 

Media contact

Kristina Hinks

General Manager

p: 0844 499 0214

e:kristina@inclusiveplay.co.uk

t: https://twitter.com/InclusiveplayUK

f: facebook page