If playgrounds are built incorporating principles of inclusivity and universal design, they can support play for everyone as well as make a statement about how their communities value play. Me2 is a program developed to educate communities that want to create accessible outdoor play environments. It is the product of a collaboration between PlayCore, an American company based in Tennessee that specializes in building accessible play facilities, Utah State University, and the National Lekotek Center, a not-for-profit organization supporting inclusive play.
Me2 has adapted the principles of universal design to incorporate the needs of children during outdoor play. Accessible surfaces and routes, including wide ramps, provide access to play spaces in which children can move and engage. Benches and other seating (some in shady spots) provide areas for players to take a break and observe or for caregivers to supervise. Playground elements like talk tubes, music panels, and dramatic play areas can promote communication and social interaction, and allow for many different kinds of participation. Levels and larger structures can promote healthy risk-taking. Players who use mobility devices are supported with wide areas that allow side-by-side play as well as by space to transfer.
If your community could benefit from spaces designed for inclusive play, talk to your local school board or municipal government.