Playworld Systems included in District Administration article on inclusion
How to make school buildings more accessible
Design, policies, and products can increase accessibility beyond ADA requirements
By: Kylie Lacey
District Administration, November 2013
Accordian-style lifts work well in multipurpose rooms or gyms, where balls or other objects cannot be trapped under the machine.Accordian-style lifts work well in multipurpose rooms or gyms, where balls or other objects cannot be trapped under the machine.
Products such as automatic doors, mechanical lifts, and low, touchless trough sinks increase accessibility in schools. Design elements can also increase accessibility beyond ADA requirements, says Karen Braitmayer, an accessibility consultant.
“A big trend right now is school buildings that have a clarity of organization,” she says. “Good wayfinding is useful to students with cognitive, hearing, and sight impairments.”
With the 2010 ADA revisions came a requirement that, by March 2012, school playgrounds must be accessible to students with disabilities. Companies such as Playworld Systems Inc., focus on designing playgrounds that are accessible to students with both mobility and cognitive impairment. “Our products are built on the principle of multiple levels of challenge,” says Ian Proud, research director for Playworld Systems.
Motor skills are the basis for Playworld’s levels of challenge, from level one (not very challenging) to level four (highly challenging). To maximize opportunities for students with disabilities to play with other children, Proud advises placing a level one product, such as an accessible slide, next to or near a product with a higher level of challenge, such as a concave climbing structure.
“Kids can have fun together while doing activities that match their level of mobility,” Proud says.
Some products even combine multiple levels of challenge, Proud says. The AeroGlider is a rocker with two huge seats that face in. Up to two wheelchair users can ride at once with several of their friends sitting inside or hanging off the outside. Another example is the Triumph Climber, which combines level three and level one challenges into one climbing structure.
Read the full article here.