Inclusive Play - Disability
We know from research, experience and history that all children benefit from playing. All children are morally and legally entitled to play within their own community whatever their culture, impairment, gender, language, background, behaviour or need.
Inclusive play means all children and young people have equal access to good quality local play provision. This means that they can play with others or alone as they wish in a rich play environment that supports their play needs and gives them access to a wide range of play opportunities.
Play is defined in the Welsh Government Play Policy as freely chosen and personally directed. The vast majority of children play in this way, a very few may need our support to be able to make choices and access play opportunities.
'Enabling all children to play, and to play together, is about a benefit to the whole community. It is not about overcoming legal hurdles or making expensive provision for a small section of the community. If any child is prevented from playing then it diminishes the play experience of all' (John and Wheway, 2004)*.
Play Wales resources
Creating accessible play spaces - a toolkit designed to provide clear and concise information that helps to create play spaces that enable all children to play in, along with friends and family. It contains information intended to help understand and address issues of concern and it provides practical, step-by-step tools and templates for undertaking work linked with removing the barriers to accessing play space faced by disabled children and their families.
This toolkit focuses on spaces that have been designed specifically for play, such as playgrounds and play areas. However, it can be applied to many spaces throughout our communities and public space whether they have been specifically allocated for children’s play or not.
Play Wales has worked in partnership with Di Murray to produce the Play: inclusive provision information sheet. It explores the attitudinal, environmental and institutional barriers that face disabled children and young people accessing play provision – and how we as play providers and playworkers can overcome them.
Please note that the Play: inclusive provision information sheet is an updated version of the Inclusive play information sheet Play Wales published in 2007.
Download The health benefits of play and physical activity for disabled children and young people (2010) published by KIDS - the charity working with disabled children, young people and their families
* John, A and Wheway, R (2004) Can Play, Will Play: disabled children and access to outdoor playgrounds (London, National Playing Fields Association)
The British Toy & Hobby Association has worked with a range of organisations to produce a series of information sheets 'aimed at improving the lives of children with special needs' - 'Toys & Play for childen who are blind or partially sighted'; 'Toys and play for young deaf children'; 'Toys & play for children with Down's Syndrome'; 'Toys & play for children with: Autism' - more information.