Guide promotes access for all in Britain’s play spaces

Disabled children given a voice through government guide

Britain’s play areas should be more accessible to disabled children. That is the main conclusion of a new good practice guide launched last week by the Government. It targets a wide range of groups, from play space providers to planners, and uses nationwide case studies to show what can be done at playgrounds through relatively simple changes, such as improving surfaces, widening gates and repositioning equipment, which cost very little to carry out. It says the best way to plan a play space is to talk to both able-bodied and disabled children and their parents. Developing Accessible Play Space: A Good Practice Guide was launched by the undersecretary of state at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Yvette Cooper, who has a special responsibility for and interest in parks. “This guide will help play space providers understand the day to day problems disabled children and their families face when using public play areas,” she said. “I want people to see it as a helping hand and hope they are inspired by some of the great examples already taking place across the country.” L The guide is available free from ODPM Publications, PO Box 236, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS23 7NB. it is also on the ODPM web site at www.odpm.gov.uk.

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