When children play, they are learning - developing the capacities of their bodies, exploring the material world around them and navigating the complexities of social interaction. Play contributes to children's social/emotional, physical, sensory, cognitive, and communicative development, and participation in play is enshrined as a right of all children!

Today, we are looking at banding together as a community to raise funds to build an inclusive playground that is accessible to all children, adults, and veterans including those with all needs. Along with All Inclusive Rec the Effingham Park District is launching a fundraising campaign that will assist in raising the necessary funds to build a one of kind facility in Effingham that will not only provide experiences for our community but will be a destination point for many families outside of the Effingham area.

Inclusive Playgrounds

Inclusive playgrounds are play areas that accommodate children with a broad range of physical and cognitive abilities. In 2010, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was updated to include playgrounds. Now, any newly constructed or renovated public playground must be accessible to those with disabilities, to provide all children the same outdoor play opportunities.

THE CHALLENGE: Legally Accessible(ADA) vs. Inclusive

Accessible: easy to approach, reach, enter, speak with or use
Synonyms: available, reachable, attainable, operative, open, unrestricted.

Inclusive: all encompassing, all embracing or covering everything or everyone
Synonyms: broad, comprehensive, all together, global, sweeping, whole

It's said that play holds the key to a happy and healthy life. Play is a critical part of the physical, emotional, mental and social development of every child. Unfortunately, often times many children - and adults -- with disabilities are denied the opportunity for play at local playgrounds. While many playgrounds met the minimum ADA accessibility requirements, typical playgrounds pose barriers for many children with disabilities and/or critical illnesses severely limiting or making impossible for them to use In order to be inclusive, a playground needs to be accessible, but that an accessible playground is not always inclusive.