Designing a Playground for Children Who Are Blind

Design suggestions and guidelines for creating an accessible and fun playground for kids who are blind or visually impaired

There are a number of considerations in designing a playground for children who are blind or visually impaired, including those who are deafblind or who have multiple disabilities.  Some of this will depend on the climate and location of the playground, as well as the setting, size, etc.

1.  Incorporate Tactile Elements

This is important for a number of reasons.  Tactile elements will be helpful for Orientation and Mobility, that is for a child to find where they are on the playground.  This can include tactile surfaces (like a rubberized mat with bumps) to indicate a location, such as the edge of the playground.  It could also include interesting items to explore through touch.

2.  Consider Safety Issues

3.  Use Multi-Sensory Features

4.  Include Accessibility Features for Children in Wheelchairs

5.  Afix Items to Manipulate and Explore

Not everyone will want to go on the equipment, so it’s important to have interesting things to explore.  

Additional Resources

There are a number of resources on developing playgrounds for children who are blind or visually impaired, including those who are deafblind or who have additional disabilities.  Try looking at some of the following:

Accessible Playgrounds

Creating a DIY Playground for Our Son Who Is Deafblind
This blog post was written by the mother of a young boy who has a combined vision and hearing loss.  It includes tips for incorporating tactile elements, braille and more.

Center for Visually Impaired Add Playground as Teaching Tool

Accessible Playgrounds

Accessible Playground Features, Chicago Parks


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