Title

PARTICIPATION AND PLAY: OUTDOOR PLAYSPACES AS SITES OF SOCIAL EXCLUSION? A EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE

1

Location

Pre-function area and Great Room 1B

Start Time

19-10-2017 7:00 PM

End Time

19-10-2017 9:00 PM

Session Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Key words: play deprivation, social justice, play advocacy

Purpose:

The purpose of this paper is to present emerging results from a current research project (a COST Action) that explores outdoor play policy for children with disabilities in Europe. COST is the longest running European framework, that brings together researchers from disparate fields of study. The Ludi COST Action was established in 2014 to develop a coordinated research agenda concerning play and children with disability.

Background:

Playing outdoors is a valued occupation for many children and has traditionally been a setting for social inclusion (Gleave & Cole-Hamilton, 2012). However, studies have found that children with disabilities experience significantly reduced participation in play and are often excluded from outdoor play due to factors such as physical inaccessibility, attitudinal barriers and poor social supports (Anaby, et al., 2013). From an occupational rights-based perspective, this exclusion is compounded by a lack of national and regional policy to promote play occupation in communities (Barron et al, 2017; Moore & Lynch, 2015). In their scoping review of playgrounds, Moore and Lynch (2015) concluded that there is a need to establish policy and practice guidelines for promoting inclusive play opportunities in outdoor community settings. For the purpose of this study, play occupation is the primary focus, which refers to free, unstructured play.

Method:

This paper presents emerging results of a policy review across 28 European countries. For this review, policy documents were defined as ‘written documents that contain strategies or priorities, goals and objectives, and are issued by a part of the public administration (Daugbjerg, et al, 2009, p. 806). A combination of methods were employed to search for documents, including an internet search of databases, web-sites, and a survey of Ludi members. Identification of relevant documents involved a screening process, followed by an exploration for english versions of each publication. Content analysis was carried out on the identified policies, from an occupational rights-based perspective.

Report of results:

Initial findings show that European states have progressed policy and the rights of the child for play in different ways. However, few states have developed specific play policies and few have established guidelines for children’s participation in outdoor play design. Exemplars will be presented to show how policy has influenced play provision at national and local levels, and future implications for research identified.

Implications related to occupational science:

Occupational scientists have a significant contribution to make to promote social inclusion in outdoor play for children with disabilities.

Questions/objectives for discussion:

  1. There is a significant lack of knowledge about how to promote play in community settings for children with disability, across policy, play provision and practice in a European context. How can we progress this agenda from policy to practice?
  2. Children with disabilities are rarely included in studies of playgrounds to date, yet need to participate in playground design if solutions are to be found. What can occupational scientists bring to this arena to progress the participation of children in research?

References

Anaby, D., Hand, C., Bradley, L., Direzze, B., Forhan, M., Digiacomo, A. & Law, M. (2013). The effect of the environment on participation of children and youth with disabilities: a scoping review. Disability and Rehabilitation, 35 (19), 1589-1598

Barron, C., Beckett, A., Coussens, M., Desoete, A., Cannon Jones, N., Lynch, H., Prellwitz, M., & Fenney Salkeld, D. (2017) Barriers to play and recreation for children and young people with disabilities. China: De Gruyter

Daugbjerg, S., Kahlmeieir, S., Racioppi, F., Martin-Diener, E., Martin, B., Pekka, O. & Bull, F. (2009). Promotion of physical activity in the European region: content analysis of 27 national policy documents. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 6, 805-817.

Gleave, J. & Cole-Hamilton, I. 2012. A world without play: A literature review. Play England.

Moore, A., & Lynch, H. (2015). Accessibility and usability of playground environments for children under 12: A scoping review. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 22 (5), 331-344.

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Oct 19th, 7:00 PM Oct 19th, 9:00 PM

PARTICIPATION AND PLAY: OUTDOOR PLAYSPACES AS SITES OF SOCIAL EXCLUSION? A EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE

Pre-function area and Great Room 1B

Key words: play deprivation, social justice, play advocacy

Purpose:

The purpose of this paper is to present emerging results from a current research project (a COST Action) that explores outdoor play policy for children with disabilities in Europe. COST is the longest running European framework, that brings together researchers from disparate fields of study. The Ludi COST Action was established in 2014 to develop a coordinated research agenda concerning play and children with disability.

Background:

Playing outdoors is a valued occupation for many children and has traditionally been a setting for social inclusion (Gleave & Cole-Hamilton, 2012). However, studies have found that children with disabilities experience significantly reduced participation in play and are often excluded from outdoor play due to factors such as physical inaccessibility, attitudinal barriers and poor social supports (Anaby, et al., 2013). From an occupational rights-based perspective, this exclusion is compounded by a lack of national and regional policy to promote play occupation in communities (Barron et al, 2017; Moore & Lynch, 2015). In their scoping review of playgrounds, Moore and Lynch (2015) concluded that there is a need to establish policy and practice guidelines for promoting inclusive play opportunities in outdoor community settings. For the purpose of this study, play occupation is the primary focus, which refers to free, unstructured play.

Method:

This paper presents emerging results of a policy review across 28 European countries. For this review, policy documents were defined as ‘written documents that contain strategies or priorities, goals and objectives, and are issued by a part of the public administration (Daugbjerg, et al, 2009, p. 806). A combination of methods were employed to search for documents, including an internet search of databases, web-sites, and a survey of Ludi members. Identification of relevant documents involved a screening process, followed by an exploration for english versions of each publication. Content analysis was carried out on the identified policies, from an occupational rights-based perspective.

Report of results:

Initial findings show that European states have progressed policy and the rights of the child for play in different ways. However, few states have developed specific play policies and few have established guidelines for children’s participation in outdoor play design. Exemplars will be presented to show how policy has influenced play provision at national and local levels, and future implications for research identified.

Implications related to occupational science:

Occupational scientists have a significant contribution to make to promote social inclusion in outdoor play for children with disabilities.

Questions/objectives for discussion:

  1. There is a significant lack of knowledge about how to promote play in community settings for children with disability, across policy, play provision and practice in a European context. How can we progress this agenda from policy to practice?
  2. Children with disabilities are rarely included in studies of playgrounds to date, yet need to participate in playground design if solutions are to be found. What can occupational scientists bring to this arena to progress the participation of children in research?