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Play is the primary occupation of all children and is vital for the development of physical, cognitive, and social-emotional skills. Children of all abilities benefit from play and should all have equal opportunity to use and explore playground equipment. Many community playgrounds are limiting and create barriers which do not allow all children to use them. It is important that occupational therapy practitioners (OTPs) step up and utilize their skills and knowledge to bring about a change.
Occupational therapy practitioners, with their knowledge of environmental barriers, understanding of disability and specific knowledge of activities, are in an ideal position to develop and maximize the accessibility and usability of playgrounds. OTPs can play an active role in altering existing playgrounds, helping to create new ones, or by educating community and local government officials about the importance of designing playgrounds that benefit and engage all children.
occupational therapy, accessibility, usability, inclusive, playground
Herrera, OTAS, Alexander; Shoffner, OTAS, Amanda; Wilson, OTAS, Kiondrah; and Loesche, MS, OTR/L, CHT, Sara, "Going Beyond Accessibility by Advocating for Inclusive Playgrounds" (2019). School of Continuing and Professional Studies Posters. 3.