Usability of playgrounds for children with different abilities

Occup Ther Int. 2007;14(3):144-55. doi: 10.1002/oti.230.


The aim of the present study was to better understand how children with different abilities use playgrounds to engage in creative play and interact socially with their peers. Twenty children aged between 7 and 12 years, with different abilities, participated in interviews. The findings showed that playgrounds served as a reference point for all the children, they challenged a child's physical abilities and provided opportunities for role-playing and social interactions. However, for children with disabilities, playgrounds had limited accessibility, usability and did not support interaction with peers. A methodological limitation of the study was that the interviewer only met the children once. Further research should be carried out to investigate if creating playgrounds according to universal design principles and adapting them to the needs of children with disabilities would improve social interactions and provide more opportunities for play.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Architectural Accessibility
  • Attitude*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Disabled Children / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Play and Playthings*
  • Social Behavior*