Guide to Building the Accessible Backyard of Your Dreams

By Rob Woods, Fix It Dads

(Photo via Pexels)

Backyards are the quintessential setting for childhood fun. However, many of the big fun ideas we have for backyard design don’t work for all kids. As a result, children with disabilities can easily feel left behind when it comes to backyard play.

Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to create a backyard that’s fun and accessible for all. The Down Syndrome Organization of Southern Nevada has created this guide so families have the information they need to do just that.

Benefits of Backyard Renovation

Improving your backyard comes with some major benefits for your whole family:

● Upgrading with accessibility in mind shows your children their needs are valued.

● It also gives children with disabilities a chance to practice independence, which will help them to thrive later in life.

● A welcoming backyard encourages outdoor play, which children surely need.

● Moreover, a well-designed backyard can boost property value and help you make more whenever you decide to sell.

Accessible Play Space

The right tools keep everyone safe and included:

● Although there are general accessibility guidelines you should follow, talk with your child’s doctor to determine how to best meet their specific needs.

● If you install a playground, look for options that include ramps, wide walkways, and other accessible features.

● Consider installing a fence to prevent kids from exploring too far from home. Contact local fencing companies to compare quotes and reputation.

Backyard Rules

Make sure everyone is on the same page:

● Establish safe play rules and make sure everyone follows them.

● For example, establish a word or sign children can use to indicate that they need play to pause. This is great for when kids get hurt, scared, or just need a break.

● If siblings or visitors don’t understand why you need the rules, take the opportunity to introduce them to disabilities in a loving, non-judgmental way.

Above all, focus on meeting your child’s needs when creating your backyard. When you put their abilities and interests first, you’re sure to create a backyard that’s fun, exciting, and accessible.

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