‘Playgroup is for everyone’.

Play is important – it is how we learn; it aids our brain and body development and is a major factor in how we create and maintain relationships. No matter our ability, play is how we grow, and playing with others challenges us to build new skills. This means that playgroup needs to be for everyone too, and sometimes we might need to think differently about how we include everyone, so no one has to miss out. We want all our visitors to feel welcome, and to be a part of our community.

In the past, some families who have a child with a disability have experienced a lack of inclusivity, and we want to change that. We provide some great programs that support children with disabilities and their families, and we want to work harder on making mainstream playgroups and community activities accessible to all.

Active Inclusion is a new initiative funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and is delivered by Playgroup Queensland for families of children with autism, global developmental delay and speech and language delay. 

The program provides:

  • individual family support to assist families to access, connect, participate, and engage with a local community playgroup that meet their strengths and needs.
  • support to community playgroups to build awareness and foster inclusivity at playgroups.

For families, our program officers may:

  • Conduct a home/community visit or phone call to discuss your needs, and identify a suitable local community playgroup that meets them.
  • Go with you to the local playgroup to introduce you to the group.
  • Assist you and the playgroup to identify strategies and tools to implement at playgroup to support your family.
  • Provide you with information on play activities to support your child’s play and social skills.
  • Provide you with information on community and disability services for further support.

For community playgroups our program officers can provide you with information, resources, and training to support you to be more inclusive of all children and families, especially those with additional needs or a disability.  We can assist you with information on:

  • How to set up your playgroup environment and routine.
  • How to adapt and modify play activities.
  • How to identify needs, challenges, and strengths of the family.
  • How to manage stigma in the playgroup.
  • How to have a tough conversation and raise concerns.
  • Community and disability services in your local area.

Active Inclusion supports all families and community playgroups in Queensland.  Our program officers can be contacted via email: activeinclusion@playgroupqld.com.au phone: 1800 171 882.

Everyone should feel they can join in and belong to our community playgroups!

 

Useful information:

30 Reasons why Play is Important for Children with Disabilities https://www.playgroundequipment.com/30-reasons-why-play-is-important-for-children-with-disabilities/ 

Play and friendship for children with disability – Kids with disability: play & friendship | Raising Children Network

Inclusive Play: Guidelines for accessible play spaces Inclusive Play – Guidelines for accessible play spaces

Inclusive Play – Guide to inclusive play – Sensory Trust

Blog by Anh Tu – Occupational Therapist and Clinical Specialist