Joined in the park

Social justice and inclusion of vulnerable groups

Project Description

Lead partner: Kulturno okoljsko društvo Pazi!Park
Project partner: Društvo za kulturo inkluzije
ACF funding: 20.000 EUR
Project duration: 15. 5. 2022 – 14. 5. 2023
Contact: Gaja Trbižan,
Supported by the Active Citizens Fund in Slovenia 2014–2021

Project Joined in the park is encouraging the use of public green spaces among the disabled children and their families. Our mission is to empower vulnerable disabled children as well as their parents/caregivers, that they could spend their free time actively outdoors, improving their physical literacy, connecting with their abled peers and be better accepted in a wider community. We are striving for inclusive parks and playgrounds, which would become the place of connectivity and solidarity both among children and their families.

To achieve our goal, we will be organising numerous activities in the time span of one year. Some will be for empowering children with disabilities (or their caregivers), others to raise awareness among decision-makers, planners and open space managers.

  1. Meeting with children, their familieas and caregivers and educational-rehabilitational institutions to identify key shortcomings, which are turning children away from already established inclusive playgrounds, parks and open public space in general.
  2. Implementation of a series of social events and workshops for children with disabilites and their families in each of the following parks: Šmartinski park in Ljubljana, Keršmančev park in Kamnik and Europark in Zagorje.
  3. Publishing periodical newsletters made in collaboration with disabled children, their families and caretakers and institutions for education and rehabilitation. Newsletter will be raising awareness among public space planners, designers, decision makers and managers of green spaces about the needs of disabled children in connection to public spaces and last but not least, encourage disabled children and their families to share their experience. In addition, we will be also focusing on encouraging children, caregivers and educational institutions to continue publishing newsletters after the end of the project and supply them with the needed knowledge.
  4. Preparation of a set of concrete measures for the improvement of inclusive playgrounds for children with disabilities and distribution to the responsible decision-makers (for each of the considered playgrounds).
  5. Preparation and distribution of general recommendations and guidelines for planners, designers and managers to promote the inclusive design and use of public space for children with disabilities and their families.
  6. Preparation of lists of relevant contacts (responsible organisations, services, departments, individuals) which parents and caregivers can contact in case of facing limits and obstacles/ finding possible areas of improvement in connection to public playgrounds and parks.
  7. Educational seminar for planners and designers on inclusive design of public space with the focus on playgrounds will be organized in collaboration with Chamber of Architecture and Spatial Planning of Slovenia (ZAPS), as part of vocational training.

From the moment we are born until our older age, the environment, in which we live, greatly impacts our health and well-being. Evidence shows that living in a greener environment protects our health, encourages faster recovery after illness and eases difficulties surrounding weak health and disabilities. Green spaces, such as parks and playgrounds, bring people closer together, decrease loneliness and connect local communities. Public green spaces are especially important for vulnerable and socially excluded groups, including people with disabilities. Sensibly designed inclusive public green spaces, which encourage usage among all people, can be used as an important tool in building a fairer society.

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