Playworld Systems contributes to National Public Radio (NPR) accessibility project

Family-Owned Playground Manufacturer’s Inclusive Play Design Guide (IPDG) to Help Communities Everywhere Create Inclusive Play Spaces


LEWISBURG, PA (September 13, 2013) – Playworld Systems, a leading manufacturer of imaginative playground and fitness equipment, today announced that many of its inclusive playgrounds are included in the new NPR Playgrounds For Everyone accessibility database, a listing of nearly 2,000 inclusive playgrounds across the country.

As a leader in the inclusive play movement, Playworld Systems develops notable inclusive play spaces, including: Taylor's Dream Playground in Fort Wayne, Indiana; Zahra Baker All-Children’s Playground, in Hickory, North Carolina, and Millstone Creek playground in Westerville, Ohio. These are just a few of Playworld Systems’ accessible playgrounds included in the NPR database.

While great strides have been made, there are still thousands of communities without an inclusive playground. For those groups, Playworld Systems has developed the Inclusive Play Design Guide (IPDG), a free resource that provides detailed insight into creating playgrounds that enable children and adults of all abilities to play side-by-side. The nearly 70-page guide was developed by a cross-functional committee of international experts, many of whom have children with disabilities.

The IPDG offers 65 different ideas or intents and 250 strategies or implementation tactics that can help decision makers build truly inclusive play spaces. The guide is divided into five core areas: planning and preparation, layout, access, selecting equipment and play richness.

“Several years ago, we realized that meeting ADA requirements wasn’t enough. It was then that we embarked on our mission to create a roadmap for inclusion on the playground,” said Ian Proud, research manager of Playworld Systems. “I’m confident that NPR’s effort will inspire others to create inclusive play spaces. I’m proud that we offer a free guide that can help them get started and empower them along the way.”

In addition to the free guide, Playworld Systems partnered with Mara Kaplan to further its mission on inclusion. Kaplan, who contributed to the NPR accessibility project, is also the founder of accesibleplaygrounds.net and Let Kids Play!, an organization that specializes in designing play spaces for children with special needs. An educator and parent of a child with a disability, Kaplan is a nationally recognized expert in play and a seasoned advocate. She works with Playworld Systems to ensure its playground equipment is fully optimized for children with disabilities. Kaplan evaluates existing product lines and collaborates with Playworld Systems’ concept and engineering teams to provide input on future product development.

“I am glad this public dialogue is happening now,” said Kaplan. “I commend NPR for its efforts of bringing this important topic to the national stage and I am hopeful that in the future there won’t be a need for such a database. In my opinion, by definition, all playgrounds should be inclusive.”

About Playworld Systems, Inc.
For more than 40 years, Playworld Systems has delighted in igniting joy in people of every age and ability through play and fitness. Based on the belief that The World Needs Play®, Playworld Systems turns dreams into reality with its imaginative, customized commercial playground and fitness equipment. Our innovative product lines – PlayDesigns®, PlaySimple®, Playworld®, Origins™, NEOS®, ENERGI®, and LifeTrail®, to name just a few – are designed to unleash the transformational power of play, and imaginations soar and bodies strengthen along the way. An industry leader, we are first and foremost a family-owned company that cares about our customers as if they were family. Our customers benefit from unparalleled personalized attention from our network of local distributors and our value-added services. We invest significant resources to measurably reduce our impact on the environment. Our aggressive action to eliminate polyvinyl chloride (PVC) helped Playworld Systems become the first and only playground manufacturer to have its products Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM Silver. We are deeply committed to evolving the world of play by moving beyond accessibility to create truly inclusive play spaces. That’s why we developed the Inclusive Play Design Guide™, a free comprehensive resource that enables the creation of landmark inclusive play spaces.

Come out and play with us. For more information about Playworld Systems, visit www.PlayworldSystems.com.

Media contact:
Tracey Cassidy
Rose Communications for Playworld Systems
Mobile: 917-741-6246
tcassidy@rosecomm.com