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Designing Playground For Paraplegic Children




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#1 Project Playground

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 10:33 PM

Hello all,

I am a product design student at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. I have decided to design an elementary school playground that is accessible to paraplegic children and promotes friendly interaction between all children using it.

In order for this to work I need to interview a paraplegic child currently attending an elementary school, a parent, and or an elementary school staff member that provide assistance to disabled children during the day.

I need to find answers to questions like?

how do paraplegic children spend they're recess?

Are there any particular activities that paraplegic children find interest in?

How does a paraplegic child perceive a playground and is there any part of it that they would like to experience?

What physical activities do they get involved in?

If anybody can provide me answers to these questions, help me find a child to interview, or maybe point me to an organization in the Detroit area that I can contact I would be very grateful.

Thank you

#2 KarenFerguson

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 01:21 AM

Well, I was a paraplegic child so I suppose I can answer your questions to some extent:


how do paraplegic children spend they're recess?
I spent my recesses basically doing what the other kids did. I played 4-square, tether-ball, hand ball, and talked to my friends. I had "regular" PE and even played dodge ball ...etc. Of course, I never ran the track. I was never a monkey bar kind of gal, although I did manage to climb on them a bit. The sand and grass always caused me problems. I have visited an accessible park (there's one in Fresno, Ca.) and they had kind of a rubber composite material under the monkey bars/slide area. This makes it so you can roll up to the equipment, but is also "soft" enough so that if a kid was to fall they wouldn't hurt themselves.

Are there any particular activities that paraplegic children find interest in?
I always liked the activities like hand ball, 4-square or tether-ball that allowed me to use my hands and upper body strength.

How does a paraplegic child perceive a playground and is there any part of it that they would like to experience?
I think the composite material under the monkey bar/slide area is a good aspect to implement. It's basically access for all.

What physical activities do they get involved in?
Well, I got involved in anything, except for running ... and of course walking ...

Hope this helps a bit.

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#3 Yong

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 01:25 AM

Wow. That's real real toughy. You may want to contact your a rehab center near you and talk to a recreational therapist there.

Many of us were injured later on in life (post-elementary school years) so I don't think we can competently answer your questions. However, the rec therapists that I mentioned earlier base nearly their entire career on that stuff so they may be able to help you more thoroughly.

Great thing you're doing and I wish you the best of luck.

Well, I was a paraplegic child so I suppose I can answer your questions to some extent:


Sheesh Karen...you posted in midst of my response. Shut me up pretty good too....haha


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