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Adding Braille to Our Accessible Playground

Adding braille to a playground makes it accessible to children who are blind, deafblind or low vision.

Overview of playground I am the mother of two young busy boys.  My oldest Liam just turned 7 and is deafblind.  My youngest Finn just turned 4 and has typical vision and hearing.  A few years back I wrote about an accessible playground we made for the boys. I just “upgraded” the boys’ play set to a “big-boy” play set and added some fun new features to make the playground accessible and “braille-centered” for Liam.  Liam is now older and his interests have changed.  I left some of the things the same. The area is still fenced in and the ground is filled with “rubber chips”.   There are still some of the wooden plaques attached to the fence (I removed some that had been damaged due to weather) that have fun tactile designs for both boys to enjoy.  There is still a PVC pipe activity both boys enjoy putting the rubber chips into and watching the catch in the bowl/pot below.  

 
PVC pipe ball dropReading braille label on playgroundSigning while reading braille
 
There are a few more “older boy” things added now that support Liam’s love for braille!
 

Braille labels:

I found a really neat website called Just Braille Signs that worked well with me to create labels in braille on durable plastic labels.  I wanted something that would hold up well outside.  I labeled things such as: slide, Liam and Finn’s spot on the picnic bench, play house, etc.  Liam absolutely loved finding the braille labels and reading them.  
Braille label of slideLiam and Finn's Playhouse
 
 

Orientation:

I added newly painted wooden plaques that have labels North, South, East and West written on them in braille.  I attached them onto the fence on the 4 cardinal directions.  
 
Reading direction label on playgroundNorth label on playground
 
 

Braille Bucket:

I added a braille toy bucket so that Liam can play with his braille toys while outside (braille is his favorite choice of “activity”).  I was also thinking about getting a tub with a good cover to keep a few books outside as well!  
 
A boy plays with braille toys at a table.

 

Just for Fun:

A boy sits at the top of a slide.A boy climbs the ladder of a play structureA boy hangs from a bar on a playset
 
It makes me smile to have a place, in our very own backyard, that BOTH my boys can enjoy together.  I love that a play set can also be a way to encourage a love for literacy and support a child’s love of braille!  
 
Pinterest collage of playground
 
 
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