Spreading the message of inclusion

ShanesBlog

We are proud to partner with Shane’s Inspiration on a common goal of promoting play for children of all abilities. Together, we’ve created nearly 50 Universally Accessible Playgrounds including the first in Mexico and Ecuador.

Even more, we’re working with them to promote the animated short film, “Ian.” This powerful, Academy Award eligible film, aims to help children understand disability and spread the message of inclusion to every home. Tools to facilitate Q&A following the film can be found here.

Watch the film above, and please share it with the following message: Please watch and share the film “Ian” and help us create a more inclusive world! http://ow.ly/PyFR30mU6Di #InclusionRules_IanFilm @fundacionian @ShanesPlay #shapedbyplay

Now welcoming preschoolers to join the band

WarbleGirl-blog

The joy of making music on the playground can now be enjoyed at any age. We’ve expanded the collection of Rhapsody® Outdoor Musical Instruments with six instruments that are a bit smaller and lower to the ground—sized just right for kids ages 2 to 5.

Rhapsody was originally introduced in January 2016, and has been a hit at playgrounds, community centers, schools, senior centers and more. That’s why we’ve added the junior Rhapsody instruments to the mix. This music playground activity is now ideal for
childcare centers, preschools and other early childhood facilities.

See below to learn more about the new junior-sized chimes, metallophones and drums:

Don’t forget… musical playgrounds welcome all ages and abilities! The original Rhapsody Outdoor Musical Instruments are perfect for kids and adults ages 5 and up. Add all 12 instruments to your play space to encourage multigenerational play.

Rhapsody_5to12-blog

Case Study: Creating lasting relationships with play and recreation

Jonesboro_Overall

Client: City of Jonesboro Parks & Recreation Department

Designers: Sheri Seminary, playground designer at Landscape Structures Inc.

Goal: Create a Miracle League recreation complex that could act as a showcase for all other Miracle Leagues

Solution: Their vision came to life as a 20-acre recreation complex complete with a rubberized ball field for children and adults with special needs, an inclusive playground, a concession stand, restrooms and a quiet room designed especially for children with autism. The inclusive playground focuses on access and offering sensory-stimulating activities including the Sensory Play Center®, OmniSpin® spinner, Roller Table, We-Saw™ and Sway Fun® glider. Even more, the playground integrates lots of shade right into the playstructure.

Read more about how the City of Jonesboro brought their community together through inclusive recreation at the Jonesboro Miracle League Park.

Dreams becoming reality in Ottawa, Ill.

Earlier this year, we hosted the Legacy of Play Contest along with Kiwanis International to bring a playground to a deserving community. The winner of the contest was the Kiwanis of Ottawa, Ill., who received $25,000 in Landscape Structures playground equipment.

LIncoln-Douglas-Park-freestanding_Ottawa-Kiwanis

Phase I

 

Ottawa, Ill., is home to more than 18,500 people, and 13 percent of the community’s children live with a disability. However, Ottawa does not have a park that welcomes children of all abilities. In order to change that a group of volunteers founded PROJECT INCLUSIVE, and their first project was to build an inclusive playground in an existing city park. The goal of the project is to reimagine an area that fosters relationships, family and pride—allowing PROJECT INCLUSIVE to shine for all members of the community.

LIncoln-Douglas-Park_Ottawa-Kiwanis

Phase II

 

Now, six months after the Legacy of Play Contest award was presented to the Kiwanis of Ottawa, Ill., the group is well on their way to making their dream a reality. PROJECT INCLUSIVE is developing the project in two phases—first, the freestanding play components and second, the inclusive playstructure. And if all goes as planned, the community of Ottawa will have the start of their inclusive playground by early next summer!

Case Study: Connecting Community Members of All Abilities

Esperanza01_blog

Client: Government of Durango and Integral Development of the Family (DIF), Durango, Mexico

Designers: Pat Tacheny, playground designer at Landscape Structures, and Christine Brey, custom playground designer at Landscape Structures

Esperanza03_blogEsperanza05_blogEsperanza04_blog

Goal: In addition to creating a recreation space for the community to socialize and be active, another goal of the park revitalization was to create an inclusive space to welcome individuals of all abilities. The inclusive playground design includes an extensive ramping system, activity panels and playground components to deliver various sensory experiences. Plus, a playground bridge was personalized to mimic the famous Baluarte Bridge. The real bridge connects the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Northern Mexico, while the playground bridge encourages kids of all abilities to connect with each other.

Visit playlsi.com to read more about how the Government of Durango and DIF designed a play environment to help create an inclusive society.

Case Study: Creating an inclusive recreation destination

AnkenyOverall_blog

Client: City of Ankeny Parks and Recreation department, Ankeny, Iowa

Designers: Outdoor Recreation Products and Gabriel Cotten, Landscape Structures playground designer

Goal: Create an inclusive destination to welcome children and families of all abilities

Solution: To create an inclusive play environment, a PlayBooster® playstructure with an extensive ramping system was installed. The ramps allow kids using wheelchairs or other mobility devices to get to the highest levels on the playground, and there are playground activities like the Rollerslide and Sway Fun® glider along the way. Set apart from the main playstructures are even more opportunities for inclusive play. And to tie in with the nearby Miracle League baseball field, custom baseball roofs were included.

AnkenyRollerSlide_blog

Ankeny_SwayFun_blog

AnkenyBaseballRoofs_blog

Visit playlsi.com to read more about how the City of Ankeny Parks and Recreation department partnered with community organizations to bring a unique recreation experience to the kid of Ankeny as well as surrounding communities.

Celebrating Sensory Awareness Month

National Sensory Awareness Month | October 2015

October is National Sensory Awareness Month… a time for us to help spread awareness of sensory processing disorder (SPD). SPD, which affects both children and adults, is a condition that exists when sensory signals don’t get organized into appropriate responses. The causes of SPD are among the subjects that researchers at the SPD Foundation have been studying, and treatment often includes natural setting therapy like at home, school or the playground.

The benefits of sensory-stimulating playground activities—those that engage all their senses—affect children of all abilities. The more they engage all of their senses, the better they make sense of the world around them and their relationship to it. See our infographic below of five ways that children benefit from sensory play.

5 Key Benefits of Sensory Play | Landscape Structures Inc.

Get ready to ROCK Las Vegas!

Join us in Las Vegas for the NRPA Annual Conference.

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone next week at the NRPA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. If you’re attending, join us for the following events:

  1. Exhibit Hall. Do you wanna ROCK? Then visit us in booth #847 on Tuesday and Wednesday as we rock the playground!
  2. Exhibit Hall Reception. Join us Tuesday, Sept. 15, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in booth #847 for a specialty cocktail. We’ll be rockin’ and rollin’ all night!
  3. Education Sessions. Join John McConkey, Ingrid M. Kanics, and our past clients to learn about the following:
    • The Power of Green Infrastructure Playgrounds: Engagement, Education and Stewardship – Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 4:30 p.m. in Breakers I.
    • All Ages, All Abilities: Are Your Parks Socially Sustainable? – Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 9:45 a.m. in Breakers E.
    • Evidence-Based Landscape Design: Pilot Study of Children with Developmental Disorders – Thursday, Sept. 17, at 10:45 a.m. in Breakers K.

Planning for inclusion on World Autism Awareness Day

Today marks the eighth annual World Autism Awareness Day. This day brings autism organizations around the world together to help raise awareness about the disorder affecting nearly 1 in 68 children. Because of these stats and the fact that there are one in seven children in the U.S. living with a disability, we took a close look at public playground requirements for children with disabilities by conducting a survey of nearly 900 parents of children 12-years-old and younger.

Landscape Structures Inclusive Play survey

More than half (57 percent) of all parents asked about playground requirements for children with disabilities, mistakenly believe playgrounds are required to have elements designed for children with autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, and visual and hearing impairments. That means that people who think they’re designing an inclusive playground based upon ADA standards are really only designing to the minimum requirements and could be missing a huge need in their community.

Over the past few years, we’ve learned about a desire to include sensory play experiences and multigenerational opportunities for social interaction. Planners also want to make sure the community or school playground offers enough challenge for children who are typically developing as well so that there are opportunities for healthy interaction among children of all abilities. Our survey echoed that idea… nearly 75 percent of parents believe it is important that their children have an opportunity to play with a variety of children, including those with disabilities.

The Oodle® Swing encourages healthy interaction among children of all abilities.

Overall, when planning an inclusive playground, inclusion should be used as a guiding principal—a checkpoint that you continue to question, “How are we fulfilling this need?” Learn more about inclusive play at playlsi.com, and see more results from our Inclusive Play survey.

Steve King Honored for Commitment to Inclusive Playground Design

Steve King was honored with the Visionary Leadership Award from Shane’s Inspiration, a nonprofit organization specializing in the design and educational programming of inclusive playgrounds, at their annual gala on April 21. King, the cofounder of Landscape Structures Inc., the Delano, Minn.-based commercial playground equipment manufacturer, was recognized for his commitment to providing inclusive playground equipment for children of all abilities as well as his philanthropic support of Shane’s Inspiration’s abilities awareness programs.

King, an American Society of Landscape Architecture Fellow, created a new type of play environment as his final project at Iowa State. After observing children at nearby playgrounds and the child development department on campus, he put together a concept that combined traditional playground equipment such as slides and climbers into an endless stream of connected activities, which he later termed “continuous play.”

Since that concept was introduced, King has continued to build upon it. He has committed his entire life to creating play spaces for children of all abilities. King was chairman of a task group of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) that worked with the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) to update the ASTM F1487 Specification, a voluntary safety and accessibility standard for public playground equipment designed for children ages 2 to 12. His task group had the added responsibility of developing playground accessibility standards to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Steve King honored with award from Shane's Inspiration

In addition to his commitment to providing truly inclusive playground equipment, King was honored for his continued support of Shane’s Inspiration. King and his wife and cofounder of Landscape Structures, Barbara (1946-2008), met Catherine Curry-Williams and Tiffany Harris, cofounders of Shane’s Inspiration, more than 10 years ago. Since then, Shane’s Inspiration and Landscape Structures have partnered to design and install more than 30 inclusive playgrounds throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.