Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC)
The first ever inclusive playground in Armenia will become a unique model of social interaction and equality, a platform designed to address the segregation of disabled children by syncing the concepts of game, education and therapy.
Play teaches children how to make friends, make rules and navigate relationships This project will promote an inclusive approach on all levels of the society by dismantling societal barriers that have kept these children segregated for years. This will be a first step in expanding their opportunities in other spheres of society, such as education, the arts, and sports. This playground will serve as a model for replication not only in the capital city, but also in other regions of the country, becoming a turning point in the practical improvement of social policy.
This project aims to make a tangible step towards more respect for the 8000 “hidden” children by offering them a rare inclusive space. The playground will be a gathering spot for children and families of all abilities,
Playgrounds may seem like minor additions in a child’s life, but their importance should not be understated. Playgrounds are fundamental for healthy development as they are important spaces for teaching children about different types of kids, preferences, and approaches to the same item. Unfortunately, the segregation of disabled children in Armenia has excluded them from such spaces. To increase the basic rights of children with disabilities, institutional changes are mandatory. But most importantly, society as a whole has to make a conscious effort to be inclusive in all areas. In Armenia, this playground will make an essential statement about how our society values children of all abilities and how it approaches their needs.
• Construction of a ramped playground system accessible and appropriate for children with special needs, innovative free-standing play activities that encourage children of all abilities to play together.
• Improving facilities, equipment and design to make the zoo services completely available to visitors with special needs. The package for visitors with disabilities will ideally comprise special parking, rest rooms, access to shows, tours, and exhibits. The number of wheelchair and pushchair friendly pathways will be extended. Most of viewing areas will be designed to allow low level access and visibility.
• Yerevan Zoo’s inclusive playground will have free facilities for art therapy, including sand art, coloring, music, and more. This resource will have a long-term positive impact.