State Governments are pouring varying amounts of funding into accessible and inclusive playgrounds around Australia, many parents would say not enough. This week, the NSW Government has announced funding to make all NSW playgrounds accessible. We take a look at what’s out there when it comes to accessible playgrounds around Australia. And if you hear of others, feel free to share your experiences or check out what other parents have to say on Playground Finder.
New South Wales
In NSW, new standards for NSW playgrounds will see all equipment being re-fitted. Initial funding will go to parks in western Sydney and regional NSW. For the moment, the gold standard must be Livvi’s Place in Sydney’s Timbrell Park, which is all-inclusive and has been designed to help kids with autism manage their anxiety. Plus, you can have a barbeque and grab a coffee at the onsite café.
Brimbank Park Playscape in Victoria sounds like almost the most fun you could have on a day out. It’s got a nest, a maze, a ‘build your own’ cubbyhouse, swings, a sandpit, and a range of tactile circular paths and animal sculptures.
A Victorian-based venture called Access Ability Australia has developed the Access Key, a downloadable ‘accessibility experience’ guide which:
- helps you understand what to expect when you get to a leisure centre or park
- interpret what is happening around you while you’re there
- helps build your independent participation.
They are free and can be used by everyone from people with intellectual disabilities to individuals with vision impairment. The Library of Access Keys is being developed and, in the meantime, the team at Access Ability Australia would really like you to download one and take the survey.
Around the rest of Australia
- There are 17 all-abilities playgrounds in Queensland and many more parks and schools offer Liberty Swings.
- When it comes to playgrounds, Perth has a lot to offer families. Sam’s Memorial Playground in Warradale Park is a dedicated autism-friendly space. Woodbridge Riverside Park offers play and social opportunities for wheelchairs users as well as visitors with physical and intellectual impairments.
- You will find aqualift facilities at all public swimming pools in Darwin, and Liberty Swings in parks in Fannie Bay and Jingili.
- Adelaide is set to get its first playground for children with disabilities, to be constructed in Marion Park. The Touched by Olivia Foundation is looking for additional funding to guarantee it can offer features like a trike track and sensory sand and water play features.