Inclusive Playgrounds: Play for Every Child, by Melissa Martz

I was a Nanny for 14 years when I first read an article in the Waterloo Region Record about what inclusive playgrounds. I admit, I had no idea what made an inclusive playgrounds; weren't a few ramps enough? With being an advocate for disabilities, this was a little embarrassing. After writing articles about inclusive playgrounds in 2012 (Abilities Magazine) and 2013 (Grand Magazine -Living Well in Waterloo Region, I know I had to do something more to spread the word and increase knowledge about inclusive playgrounds. In only nine short years in 2025 when all Ontario’s public playgrounds are required to be fully inclusive....this includes all schools. We have a lot of work to do! I did my homework – I searched the library catalogues for books on inclusive playgrounds, checked at Amazon, Chapters…no books whatsoever existed on the topic of inclusive playgrounds. What an important and niche area I was entering! In January 2014 I started thinking of the tone I wanted to use, began researching all things inclusive playgrounds, and those playgrounds that have successfully been implemented in cities and towns across Ontario. These include: Elmira, Elora, Fergus, Brockville, Port Hope, Guelph, Orangeville and St. Mary’s. This book gives you the framework of what to think about when planning and implementing inclusive playgrounds in your community. Ideas for fundraisers that have worked, and names of grants to apply to, makes this book a go-to resource to make an inclusive playground happen. On September 18, 2015 “Inclusive Playgrounds: Play for Every Child” was released by Volumes Publishing. The book price is $20. I am now 18 1/2 years a Nanny. Let’s make Ontario’s playgrounds barrier-free one playground at a time.

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