There is nothing more fun in this hot weather than a visit to some swings according to E (having to push for over an hour I’m not so sure).
Many play parks have a basket swing which they deem as inclusive for all. E agrees that she enjoys these swings and can share them with some others. I don’t like them so much. They feel a bit unsafe, are difficult to lift her in and out of and don’t really give the same experience and benefits of an upright swing.
The alternative that I have seen in a few places in an upright seated swing made by SMP . This is similar to a special needs swing that you may get for your own garden. In this type of swing, E can use her standing transfer skills to get in and out, gets a full swinging experience, is able to feel her body in space and has to work on her head and trunk control.
I’ve spoken to a few park departments who acknowledge that these swings are inclusive for all but there are a number of factors that are stopping their widespread use. Firstly they are more prone to vandalism as they have a bigger area to damage and also in some cases they cannot share a swing frame with another swing. They also require a harness for safe use.
All that said there are a number of them out there. I’m still waiting to hear back from a number of councils but so far the list is:
- North Queensferry, Fife. Top play park. There is no harness available but you can buy your own from SMP
- Edinburgh. Magnet Play area at the Meadows. There are two here but I am not aware of any harness.
- Monifieth, Angus. Blueseaway Play Area. There are two harnesses available from the sports centre.
- Forfar, Angus. Lochside play park. There is a harness available from the toilets.
- Cumbernauld. Palacerigg Country Park.
- North Berwick.
I am putting together a more comprehensive list of accessible play park equipment, but in the meantime please add any you know about either on the blog or the facebook page.