SOURCE: Playworld Systems, Inc.

Playworld Systems, Inc.

October 31, 2011 12:59 ET

Playworld Systems Introduces Inclusive Play Design Guide™ at ASLA Annual Convention and Expo (Booth #1833)

Must-Have Design Tool Developed by Play and Child Development Experts

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - Oct 31, 2011) - Playworld Systems, a leading manufacturer of imaginative playground and fitness equipment, today introduced the Inclusive Play Design Guide™, a practical tool to enable the creation of landmark inclusive outdoor play spaces, at the American Society of Landscape Architects' (ASLA) annual convention in San Diego.

The guide was developed by a cross-functional committee of experts* from child development, therapeutic recreation, physical therapy, inclusive play, parks and recreation, and landscape architecture. The group pledged to move the industry beyond basic compliance with the American Disabilities Act (ADA) and work to achieve more enriching play experiences for all people, regardless of age or ability. The goal of the committee is to serve as a third-party source for collecting and communicating objective data to help communities develop 21st century inclusive playgrounds.

"We believe play spaces should connect everyone in the community, and we recognize that landscape architects play a unique and important role in creating successful, awe-inspiring play spaces," said Matt Miller, chief executive officer of Playworld Systems, Inc. "Our Inclusive Play Design Guide fundamentally changes the conventional wisdom of what an outdoor play space should be."

"Playworld Systems brought together seven experts in their fields to help inclusive play advocates, including a landscape architect, to design premier outdoor spaces for all people -- including children, teenagers, parents and grandparents -- and people of all abilities, whether they are autistic, able-bodied, have a cognitive disability or use a wheelchair," said Ian Proud, research manager for Playworld Systems. "It is vital that key issues are addressed early in the design process so that the playground challenges everyone at their level. The new Inclusive Play Design Guide outlines specific ways landscape architects, community leaders and committed professionals in the recreation industry can create outdoor play environments that everyone can enjoy."

The comprehensive guide includes four main sections:

  • Planning and Preparation: Discusses how to identify and involve people with the knowledge, skills, empathies and connections needed to successfully plan and execute an inclusive playground
  • Layout and Access: Helps designers learn how to arrange play spaces so people of all abilities (not just the able-bodied or those in wheelchairs) have access to and can navigate around them
  • Play Richness: Describes how to select key play activities for people of all ages and abilities (e.g. a quiet, cozy place within the playground for autistic children when they feel overwhelmed)
  • Site and Amenities: Outlines the necessary resources, infrastructure and support systems for a landmark play space

Jim Dziatkowicz, RLA, ASLA, a member of the committee that developed the Inclusive Play Design Guide in conjunction with Playworld Systems, will be onsite at the ASLA convention and expo in the Playworld Systems booth (#1833) to share the guide's essential framework and criteria. Dziatkowicz has more than 17 years experience as a landscape architect within the parks and recreation arena. From large scale system-wide master plans involving counties, townships and cities to mini pocket-parks less than half an acre in size, he understands the role that open space plays within the fabric of the community, regardless of size.

The Inclusive Play Design Guide presentation schedule is as follows:
Dates: Monday, 10/31 and Tuesday, 11/1
Times: 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm
Length: Approximately 15 minutes

Visitors attending the presentation will be registered to win an iPad2. One drawing will be held at 4:30 pm each day (see booth for details).

* Inclusive play workgroup members included:

  • JC Boushh, play consultant, head playground designer for Design for Play, and specialist in child development
  • Cindy Burkhour, certified therapeutic recreation specialist and certified park and recreation professional
  • Jim Dziatkowicz, RLA, ASLA (see above)
  • Carrie Fannin, founder of the social network "Sensory Planet: One Puzzle, Many Pieces"
  • Blake Hobson, playground consultant
  • Christopher Joseph, director of physical therapy at the Kennedy Krieger Institute
  • Mara Kaplan, educator, owner of Let Kids Play! an inclusive play advocacy and consulting group

*Editor's note: for high-res product images, email

About Playworld Systems, Inc.
For 40 years, Playworld Systems has been a leader in creating imaginative, customized commercial play and fitness equipment that positively impacts the health and well-being of communities around the globe. Based on the belief that The World Needs Play®, Playworld Systems brings the joy and benefits of healthful outdoor play and exercise to people of every age and ability through such innovative product lines as ENERGI®, LifeTrail® Advanced Wellness System, Playworld®, PlayDesigns®, NEOS® and Origins. The multi-generational, family-owned company continues to invest significant resources to measurably reduce its impact on the environment. Its aggressive action to eliminate polyvinyl chloride (PVC) has helped Playworld Systems become the only playground manufacturer to have its products Cradle to Cradle Certified(CM) Basic. The company offers an optimal customer experience unique in the industry -- from value-added services using Microsoft Tag to personalized attention through its vast network of local distributors.

The Lewisburg, Pa.-based company has received numerous awards throughout its history, including two International Industrial Design Excellence Awards, a gold medal from International Design magazine, two News Directors' Choice Awards on Early Childhood, and the Pennsylvania Governors' Award for Safety Excellence. For more information, visit