Once a month, Play by Playworld highlights Playworld Systems distributors who are certified Inclusive Play Design Specialists (IPDS). In April, we talked to Pete Selak with Dave Bang Associates, a distributor of Playworld Systems equipment.
How did the inclusive play training change how you work?
The training was more comprehensive than I imagined. It has changed the way I look at every project. Prior to the training, I was dealing with a play area border and a listing of activities; now I see how people are arriving, what caregivers are doing with children or with other caregivers, how children of various ages and abilities interact with each other and what opportunities there are for parents to visit with one another. Becoming an IPDS was an eye-opening experience. I am now better able to present a first draft design that is on target with my customer’s vision for the playground.
Tell us about a project where you used the principles from the Inclusive Play Design Guide.
I recently began working with the city of Monrovia, California, on the Julian Fisher Park. The first committee meeting was filled with a range of questions – not only about the playground equipment, but seating, water fountains and shade. The training helped me be more prepared for those types of questions. I also find myself listening more and talking less.
How has the IPDG helped you in your job?
The Design Guide goes with me to all appointments with park managers and landscape architects. It’s easy to reference a point and demonstrate our comprehensive approach by showing a section. The guide has helped me become an expert that can help the park manager or architect design and complete a well-crafted project that has play experiences for everyone’s enjoyment.
Was becoming an Inclusive Play Design Specialist worth your time?
Becoming an IPDS has re-invigorated me. The time to become certified has been worth the investment. I went into the training hoping it would help me get the opportunity to build a large inclusive playground that would have a positive impact on a community. I learned that this is not just about clever ways to add ground-level activities; it is about the interaction of children and adults within the play environment. It is the opportunity to be included in play at a park for possibly the first time. I came out of the training as a better designer overall – and I’ve been in the playground industry for 30 years!