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Launch of Inclusive Playground @ Bishan-Ang Mo Kio River Plains
Drop by a park on the weekend and chances are you will see children of all ages running, climbing and enjoying themselves on the playground. Yet the same playground, so easily enjoyed by so many kids, might as well be Mount Everest to those who have special needs.
There are limitations in the design of existing play areas that prohibit children with special needs from joining their counterparts at play. However they too, like other children, require play for their physical, social and cognitive development.
NCSS spearheaded engagement efforts with special education schools, those who work with special needs children and the children themselves to explore how to maximise the inclusive experience for every child.
These collaborative efforts have led to the conception of the Inclusive Playground.
The first of these playgrounds is located in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park and is a collaboration between the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) and the National Parks Board (NParks). It is one of the 11 inclusive playgrounds to be built across Singapore by end 2017.
Among these 11 inclusive playgrounds, five (including the one at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park) are made possible under the Care & Share Movement. These include two collaborations between NCSS and NParks at Pasir Ris Park and West Coast Park, and another two that NCSS is partnering with two town councils.
With more of such playgrounds in the near future, children of different abilities can now play together!
A programme called ‘Children In Action’ was also initiated by NCSS for Social Service Agencies to apply for grants with which they can use for transport and activities for children with special needs at the Playground.
The Playground is not merely a figure of inclusiveness—it is also an avenue where inclusive play can be practised, and a start to a vision of a more inclusive Singapore society!
>> Watch the inclusive playground video launched at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio River Plains.