Play is Important For ALL Children.


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The Idea


Play is critical for the physical and social development of ALL children. Through play, children discover their own potential and explore the world around them without fear of failure. They develop body control, social skills, language, and learn cultural norms while having fun. In the ideal play environment, a child gets lost in the experience. Yet conventional playgrounds often fail to provide this valuable experience to children with disabilities.

The play needs of a child with disabilities extend beyond basic wheelchair movement. Focusing on physical access is not enough. Inclusive play environments encourage social accessibility-- social acceptance and involvement-- by enabling children with disabilities to be "more-able." A child is given the opportunity to use their individual strengths and ability to fully participate in play activities with their peers, independently and equally.

Inclusive Design

The best outdoor play environments are inclusive. They address social access and are activity-based, sensory-organized, developmentally appropriate and flexible. Their design acknowledges the diversity of children with disabilities and considers their needs along with the needs of children who are typically able. These engaging play environments offer rich and meaningful experiences to ALL children regardless of ability or age.



Beyond Access supports efforts to create inclusive outdoor play environments.

Our expertise includes knowledge on the diverse play needs of children with disabilities, research-based design strategies to best meet the needs of children with disabilities in outdoor play environments, and methods of encouraging independence and equality on the playground.

We assist playground designers and equipment manufacturers, provide public education to communities, and empower parents and advocates to take action in ensuring that community playgrounds meet the needs of ALL children.

Playing together
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Who We Are

Beyond Access is an initiative of the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University. The technical assistance program works with industry partners, consumers, and advocates to create inclusive play environments which recognize every child's right to play with full participation and independence.

For more information contact
Director Keith Christensen: