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More than a Playground - Accessible Outdoor Learning Centers

by A. Phoebe Meyer
March/April 1997
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/more-than-a-playground-accessible-outdoor-learning-centers/5011457/

Just before the Fourth of July 1993, the swing set on our 25 year-old playground collapsed. We were lucky! There were no injuries. The children immediately began asking, "When will the swings be fixed?" Our first thought was that we had to find the money to replace the swing set as quickly as possible. A review of safety factors and current licensing regulations indicated that we needed to look at all of our outdoor equipment. The staff began generating a wish list, playground equipment companies were contacted, and proposals were submitted. The board of directors emphasized the need to comply with current safety and licensing regulations as they launched a major fund raising effort to raise money for the new playground equipment.

Accessibility for Children with Special Needs

We were about eight months into our planning when we began to consider accessibility. Four members of our staff and a board member were involved with the Community Connections Project at The George Washington University. This project was designed to help early childhood professionals include children with special needs in their programs. We quickly decided that our new outdoor learning center should be accessible to all children including those with physical or sensory disabilities. ...

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