Are We Keeping Up As a Nation? Survey Finds Parents Expect More Than Federal Guidelines

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Landscape Structures Inclusive Play Survey Reveals Changing Perceptions

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Families want more than the minimum standards when it comes to playground inclusion and accessibility.

With one in seven children in the United States living with a disability and outdoor play in full swing, Landscape Structures, the world’s leading commercial playground equipment manufacturer, is taking a close look at public playground requirements for children with disabilities, asking the question- are we keeping up as a nation?

Perceptions are changing, according to the Landscape Structures Inclusive Play Survey. More than half (57 percent) of all parents asked about playground requirements for children with disabilities, mistakenly believe playgrounds are required to have elements designed for children with Down syndrome, sensory disorders, and visual and hearing impairments. Just one quarter (24 percent) of parents said their expectations were limited to the playground accommodations required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Families want more than the minimum standards when it comes to playground inclusion and accessibility,” said Ingrid M. Kanics, occupational therapist and Landscape Structures Inclusive Play Advisory board member at Landscape Structures. “This data shows a clear generational shift in thinking. Parents today have higher expectations when it comes to playground requirements than when they were raised, which shows a greater understanding of the numerous benefits inclusive play provides our youth.”

The Landscape Structures Inclusive Play Survey also revealed changing perceptions from a community standpoint. Nearly three quarters (74 percent) of parents believe it is important that their children have an opportunity to play with a variety of children, including those with disabilities.

“Demand continues to increase as more parents and local leaders recognize the benefits of sensory play not only for children with disabilities but entire communities,” said John McConkey, market insights manager at Landscape Structures. “We support children of all abilities coming together in play and encourage parents to take actionable steps to enhance their community with a new inclusive playground.”

Other key survey findings include:

  • The vast majority (80 percent) of parents are supportive of having inclusive playgrounds in their community.
  • Children are most often bullied in the classroom, playground and on the bus, according to parents. Parents in the southern U.S. believe children are more likely to be bullied in the classroom than parents in other regions of the country. Parents in the west say the playground is where bullying occurs.

Nearly 900 parents of children 12-years-old and younger completed the Landscape Structures Inclusive Play Survey by ORC in May 2014. Landscape Structures has been recognized as an industry leader in inclusive play, installing nearly 300 inclusive playgrounds for communities across the country in 2014. To view the full survey results and to learn more about incorporating inclusive play into your community visit


About Landscape Structures Inc.
Since 1971, Landscape Structures Inc. has been the leading commercial playground equipment manufacturer in the world. The employee-owned company is committed to creating a better world by encouraging outdoor activities that develop healthy kids, families and communities. Landscape Structures designs better playgrounds that welcome all ages and abilities, become signature gathering spaces for communities and offer the most innovative play experiences. The company’s mission from day one has been to enhance children’s lives by fostering and creating inspiring play experiences while honoring the environment.

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Katie Kava
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Landscape Structures Inc.
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