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Disability Equality Specialist Support Agency

How to find out more!

Some local sources of information:

  • Access Inside Out is available free from DESSA and is an essential guide to the basics of inclusive design. Get one now and use it in conjunction with Play for All!
  • The Sugradh website,, contains general information on setting up a playground, including lists of suppliers. It complements Play for All. The website also contains the full text of a report, Public Play Provision for Disabled children, written by Richard Webb in 2004.
  • Get a copy of Ask Me: Guidelines for effective consultation with people with disabilities. Download it free from or get a free copy from the National Disability Authority (NDA). It is available in ordinary print, large print, on tape, on diskette and in braille.
  • The NDA’s Building for Everyone (2002) offers best practice guidelines on promoting universal access to buildings and the environment, with sections on how to design, build and manage buildings and external environments for the inclusion, access and use of everybody.
  • The National Council for the Blind in Ireland (NCBI) can supply factsheets such as Guidelines for Blind and Vision Impaired Pre-school Children, Toys for Vision Impaired Children and Babies and Toddlers: Tips for the Early Years;


There is a lot of practical advice available from the UK.

Community groups there consider many of the following to be essential reading. Even though they are written for the British situation their general advice applies in Ireland. If you can’t get them yourself your local library should be able to source them for you. Items marked with a * are available from DESSA library (to read on the premises only).

  • The Kids publication, It Doesn’t Just Happen – inclusive management for inclusive play (Douche, 2002) deals with putting inclusive play into practice. The book covers the ethos of inclusion and provides guidance on how to create and improve policies and practice by going step by step through the process of planning and managing inclusive play. Each section starts with some principles of inclusive play management and goes on to outline key areas to address. Call Kids on 00 44 207 359 3073 to get a copy
  • More than Swings and Roundabouts: Planning for Outdoor Play, Children’s Play Council, National Children’s Bureau, (2002). Download it from
  • Developing Accessible Play Space: a good practice guide. Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, 2003. London.
  • Play for All, a video resource pack for staff and volunteers wanting to develop inclusive play opportunities, was produced by Belfast City Council. The information in the pack is based on the experiences of a project run by Belfast City Council, in partnership with Barnardo’s, to include disabled children in mainstream summer playschemes. Issues covered include challenging behaviour, legislation, bullying and needs assessment. The pack is available from the Play Development Officer, Belfast City Council
  • Can Play Will Play: Playgrounds for Disabled Children*, Alison John and Rob Wheway, National Playing Fields Association 2004.
  • Pick & Mix: a Selection of Inclusive Games and Activities, Di Murray KIDSactive, 2004. To get a copy send an e-mail to
  • Best Play: What Play Provision should do for Children, Children’s Play Council (CPC), National Playing Fields Association (NPFA), Playlink, 2000. Download from
  • The National Children’s Nurseries Association produced We Like this Place: Guidelines for Best Practice in the Design of Childcare Facilities (2002), which covers both indoor and outdoor play environments and includes considerations for disabled children
  • Playing Together: Guidelines for the integration of children with impairments on playgrounds in Nuremburg, GÜnter Beltzi, Nuremburg 2006.