The entire community has worked together to bring a state-of-the-art inclusive playground to our local Oxford Memorial Park (located 100 Lancaster Pike, Oxford, PA).
Paul Matthews, The Rotary Foundation, Oxford Borough, Oxford Mainstreet, Inc. and hundreds of individuals have raised funds and donated many hours of elbow grease to make this long-time dream come true. ALL children can play together safely and confidently using the new equipment installed (during a community build) on Sunday, August 13th. The original build was scheduled for Saturday, August 12th but threat of a major storm necessitated a quick change of date which did not deter our volunteers.
This playground is founded in the principles of inclusion and makes a fundamental statement about how our community values meaningful play experiences for children of all abilities. The seven principles of Inclusive Playground Design create universally designed play environments that increase the “playability,” or inclusion, of children of diverse abilities, age, race, gender, ethnicity, culture, and socioeconomic status. They are: be fair; be included; be smart; be independent; be safe; be active; be comfortable.
Designing inclusive play environments that meet the seven Principles of Inclusive Playground Design is a critical first step to provide the foundation for inclusive play to occur. Teaching or facilitating children about how they can successfully play together can be just as important. Taking inclusive play to the next level by educating children about similarities and differences supports character education initiatives while further ensuring meaningful play for children of all abilities outdoors. We will know our efforts toward inclusion have been successful when children of all abilities freely play with each other independently and by choice.
Additional information can be found at www.downtownoxfordpa.org/inclusive-playground