A place for all children

A playground where disabilities disappear…

Information

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Institut pour aveugles à Laski
PL Poland
Web http://www.fcmission.de/index.php/projekte/polen/spielplaetze-fuer-blinde-kinder
Maturity

Concept

About the project Edit

The project to create accessible play spaces for all children is inspired by an existing playground built for blind children in Laski, Poland.

Originally, Albrecht Herzog from Treffpunkt Stoffwechsel in Dresden had an idea: to provide blind children the opportunity to move and develop their motor skills in a stimulating and safe environment. With the help of 90 young German and Polish women, the project was realized in the summer of 2000. The playground in Laski has a funicular, climbing wall and tour, marbles with sound effects, etc.

In 2004, a second project was realized in a vacation camp in Sobieszewo near Danzig, Poland. The two playgrounds are very popular and used a lot.

En quoi ce projet est-il singulier et créatif

In relations to the needs of blind children, the playground’s design revealed the potential to provide a stimulating experience for other children. This type of specialized equipment is not very common and expertise is communicated infrequently. The project is full of opportunities for playground equipment designers, as well as specialized organizations or municipalities interested in developing playgrounds that can welcome children with special needs, to share ideas.

Themes

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

The Laski project has two main benefits: First, benefits for blind and visually-impaired children who now has access to the playground that allows them to move and develop their motor skills. They can also familiarize themselves with the changing natural outdoor conditions in a fun and participatory way with other children – an important factor for the development of their personalities.

Benefits for the young people who participated in the project were linked to work and group activities, as well as personal learning. Understanding and sensitivity for people living with a disability or challenge can only be lived through direct experience.

An indirect result was the building of several friendships between young Germans and young Poles coupled with a better understanding between the two groups.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

In the context of urban Montreal, playgrounds for children with special learning needs and children with reduced mobility are virtually non-existent. Often linked to specialized private institutions, it’s necessary and important to find public spaces with dedicated equipment and activities that are accessible to all children. These places would encourage meetings and exchanges between children who normally have few contacts.

Implementing such a project responds first to the needs of children whose abilities are reduced, but is equally a learning opportunity for all children to socialize, share and understand others.

Children, parents, citizens, builders, professionals, municipal administrators, politicians – discovering other people’s needs and limitations through new experiences creates an awareness that will help all participants grown on a personal level.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

During his visits to the Laski Institute for blind children, Albrecht Herzog commented that the children did not have the opportunity to move and adequately develop their motor skills. The absence of adapted playgrounds convinced him to launch a project to develop a playground dedicated to blind children.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

The leader of the Laski Institute playground project is a religious organization called the FMC (Freundeskreis Christlicher Mission e.V.).

To build an adapted playground for visually-impaired children or children with reduced mobility in Montreal that is also accessible to other children, we propose a project financed by public funding associated to the contributions of private and institutional organizations. Annual fund-raising activities would be necessary to add games and equipment. To ensure public access to the playground, equipment maintenance, animation and safety, governance shared between partner organizations should be considered.

Needs analysis, design and planning, as well as development and equipment supply could be realized through a partnership of users, specialized institutions, municipalities, playground manufacturers and suppliers.

Animation and monitoring or supervision must be provided by specialists when special needs children are on site.

What is the business model of this project? Edit


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