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Tyumen researchers suggest recommendations for inclusive playground designing

May 18, 2016, 20:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW
1 pages in this article
© ITAR-TASS/Valery Sharifulin

MOSCOW, May 18. /TASS/. For the first time in Russia, a tandem team from the chair of Landscape Design and from International Center of Inclusion Education of Tyumen State University (TyumSU) has worked out a list of basic requirements to playgrounds for children with autism spectrum disorders. Now, a separate scientific workgroup for studying the issue is planned at the university.

"The analysis of All-Union State Standards and Construction Regulation Standards Building Code has revealed that up to now in Russia there is no established frame with recommendations and demands to engineering playing and sports grounds for children with disabilities," the press service said.

"The problem of autism is studied in many countries around the world," explains the PhD student from TyumSU Nikolai Ivanov, "But is is still not clear how one should design the city landscape and urban environment to meet the perception peculiarities of autistic people, who constantly increase their amount. People with disturbances of autistic type build a very special group, as they have in principle no physical limitations, but they do show a unique environmental perception, which is in practice often conceived as odd or even rejected by healthy population."

Based on the analysis of scientific literature and surveys of parents with autistic kids, researchers from TyumSU elaborated the recommendations. About 100 people have taken part in the survey while each participant has been asked to answer 10 questions about the quality of the urban area. After treating and summarizing the data, it has been concluded, that the playground for autists should be enclosed with a low conventional board as a green or decorative fence, and there should be only one entrance as parents often worry about the possible escape of their children.

Besides, the playground should be equipped with game tools ensuring permanent visibility of what is going on. According to the experts, the play space should have some items providing recurring action and activating multisensor perception of the world around with the vision, hearing, olfaction, and touch.

The scientists have summarized the recommendations and plan to introduce them to the experts dealing with design and engineering children outdoor playgrounds. Moreover, the TyumSU wants to initiate a new collaboration with German scientists to study various neurologic diseases. A multidisciplinary approach with a thorough investigation of patients will be utilized. Through the participation in the project, the children with autistic disturbances could pass the screening with the expensive equipment; undergo a genetic test, whereas their families will be supported by the highly qualified informational support.

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