This is what disability-inclusive play looks like.

a cartoon image of a blonde boy sitting in a wheelchair. he wears a white top and yellow pants
100000
Children in Ireland live with a disability.
400000
How much we need to raise to make disability-inclusive play a reality for them.

Fun-draising

We are building a fully accessible playground & leisure area for Crann families with neuro-physical disabilities.

This project is big and uncompromising and X marks the spot – the €500,000 we need to bring this big, uncompromising project to life. It will let pirates of all ages and abilities play, learn and explore together at Crann. 

A child dressed as a pirate is journeying to where X marks the spot. As the fundraise increases, more inclusive play equipment becomes apparent. The fundraising monitor is marked at €300,000

The Murphy's are excited for inclusive play!

“Speaking with the Crann team and the UCC researchers, Helen and Alice, was the first opportunity that we, as a family, had a say in something that was being designed for families like us”

Dream, Design, Deliver!

Alice Moore, Dr. Helen Lynch, Padraig Mallon and Kate Jarvey pictured on the lawn outside Crann on a sunny day

When Alice Moore, PhD Candidate at the UCC Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, began research into designing this space, it was obvious that families’ needs would direct it. 

We’ve found when we talk to kids they’ve said ‘I’m the problem as a wheelchair user’, but the problem is the environment.

Dr. Helen LynchDepartment of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, UCC

Why?

• “Accessible” playgrounds often include a single locked piece of accessible play equipment (usually a swing). These are often locked and isolated from the rest of the play space forcing children to use that swing over and over while watching their siblings and friends experience free play.

• Inappropriate surfacing surrounding equipment makes it difficult for people who use mobility aids to get around.

• Accessible toilets and parking can be a gamble for families looking for a day out with the family.

How?

• A variety of play experiences so that children with disabilities feel a range of experiences from the thrill of heights, the fun of speed and the freedom of imagination.

• Expert-led design. That is, a space designed by the people who will use it. 

• A spacious 1/4 acre area where parking, bathrooms and a place to dine are all accessible.

• Options for people of all ages and abilities from toddlers to adults. 

Corporate Partnerships

Thank you to our corporate partners, who have helped progress inclusive play for families with neuro-physical disabilities in Ireland. Without corporate support, we couldn’t be as ambitious as we are in creating a space that is not just fully accessible but contains a variety of play experiences that children with neuro-physical disabilities often don’t have access to. 

The CJK team after their challenge with a banner with Crann and CJK logos
The CJK team after their Ring of Beara and Ring of Kerry fundraiser challenge

Join the impressive list of innovative organisations that have already supported disability-inclusive play, through donations of money or materials, fundraising or volunteering.

Working together to create this special space can benefit your company and forward your CSR commitments.

Inclusive Play Made Real

When we asked children, teenagers and adults with disabilities what they wanted in their Playground & Leisure Area, they didn’t mention swings or roundabouts, they spoke about experiences. Speed. Movement. Imagination. So that’s what we focused on. We engaged with families throughout the development to understand whether the decisions made would be fun and practical for them.

Each element was carefully designed to optimise its use by as many people and as many abilities as possible, using the concept of Universal Design.

We can’t wait for it to come to life for our clients!

Computer generated overhead view of the full Playground and Leisure Area
Computer generated image with yellow paths around the grey surfacing containing the play equipment. On one yellow path there is a ramp

The Need... for Speed!

Love the feeling of the wind in your hair? So do children. And when you’ve got a wheelchair, you can have a lot of fun with speed in a safe environment. 

The site was expanded to a quarter acre so that multiple wheelchair users can whizz around safely. The surfacing was chosen to be safe and even for the best experience for all users!

Working Out-side

Exercise is key to healthy living. Adult clients felt there weren’t options for them when it came to working out so including a gym was important to us. Traditional gyms can be inaccessible by wheelchair or be cramped and difficult to manoeuvre around.

This will be a wide-open space for free exercise and ease of movement and include a wheelchair-accessible trampoline for aerobic exercise, an adjustable arm bike that can be used with the built-in seat or in your own wheelchair and an adjustable row and press machine for strength training.  

Computer Animation of the pizza oven, BBQ and dining area from above. Long picnic benches with multiple spots for wheelchairs across each.

Party Central!

Finding an accessible space for birthday celebrations can be a challenge. The capacity for accessible dining or bathrooms can be limited which can be difficult to navigate if your child has friends who are also wheelchair users. 

This space is ideal for birthday parties. It’s big and embracing of families with physical disabilities, with space play, dining, parking for guests and accessible bathroom facilities. 

Computer generated view of the pirate ship that will be built. It has a ramp up to a wide deck, with slides down, a bridge and tactile toys and pirate theme

Thrilling Heights

There is an exhilaration that comes from reaching the top. And that’s not something that people who rely on mobility aids often get to experience. 

Height was one of the biggest requests from the children we consulted, so this custom-made, hand-built pirate ship will be the centrepiece of this already unique space. It features a wide deck, with a long ramp for access with rest in the middle so that pirates of all ages and abilities can treasure hunt together!

Computer generated image of the entrance to the sensory garden. It is a walled space separate from the rest of the space. it features a lot of plants and greenery

The Sanctuary

This is a space for quiet relaxation with gentle sensory engagement

In a quiet corner of the playground, this walled garden will be filled with edible plants and vibrant fragrances for those who want to take a step back from the excitement of the main play area.

It will be a space of reflection, calm and sounds of nature with bird boxes and a soft flowing water feature.

A computer generated image of the social areas. A large wooden pagoda is on the right, accessible picnic benches are visible around the BBQ area

A Place to Hang Out

Young people want to hang out. But if your hangout is inaccessible because of its surfacing or doesn’t have an accessible bathroom it isn’t welcoming of people with disabilities. 

That was the feedback that we used to make sure there were options to just hang out. A sheltered pagoda, inclusive seating and picnic benches that accommodate multiple wheelchairs are simple features in our space that any space can adopt. 

The sensory garden will feature in a quieter corner, letting you chill out in a peaceful, plant-filled environment.

Computer generated image of planters raised to accommodate wheelchairs, arranged in a hexagon shape.

Expanding Services

Before we decided to build this space, it was a lawn. Soon it will be a space that not only brings the joy and fun of free play but also allows Crann to expand our services. 

It will be a great place for existing programmes like Occupational Therapy and Wheelchair Skills but also lets us offer more. 

Independent Living skills were at the fore of the decision making process. The BBQ area and pizza oven will let us offer crucial food preparation skills. Raised planter areas will be a space to learn horticulture skills like growing vegetables and flowers. 

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