Mara Kaplan

Journey to Inclusion

Mara Kaplan's picture

Mara Kaplan is the driving force behind Let Kids Play, a consulting firm working to ensure that all children have excellent play opportunities. She is an educator, a parent of a child with disabilities and a season advocate for inclusive play. Mara is the editor of accessibleplayground.net and one of the authors of the Inclusive Play Design Guide.  She founded an indoor playspace for children with and without disabilities and was its executive director for over 13 years. Mara has an elementary education degree Indiana University in Bloomington, IN.  She received her MBA, with a concentration in nonprofit management, from Boston University.

Playcore Mara Kaplan- Building a community inclusive playground takes a lot of people, knowledge and funds. The idea often starts with a group of dedicated volunteers and their first step is research. They want to know what is already out there, how to raise...
infographic lawson foundation 2016—It Could be a Great Year for Play The year is only 2 weeks old and I can already tell that it is going to be a great year for play.   The New Jersey State House and Senate voted at the end of the year to make recess mandatory....
ADA Inclusion is an important topic for Playworld. The company strives to design and manufacture playground equipment that benefits and can be fully utilized by individuals of all ages and abilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which...
Portland Oregon parks I had the pleasure of visiting Portland, Oregon a couple of weeks ago. I spent much of my time seeing their newer playgrounds, and I have to say I was incredibly impressed. Their playgrounds were far from the cookie cutter playground that I often see...
Abernathy Greenway Linear Park - Wonderwall Three new very different playspaces have recently opened in different parts of the country. The different approaches that the community took to create these spaces demonstrate the vast possibilities for inclusive design. The spaces are located in...
Accessible vs. Inclusive
Twenty-five years ago, on July 10, 1990, President George Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a landmark legislation that extended civil rights protection to people with disabilities. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the...
Designing Restrooms for Inclusive Playgrounds Recently, I received an email from a mom that really made me think. It wasn’t the typical type of question I receive: “Where can we purchase an accessible merry-go-round,” “What can you send me to help our community get started...
Developmental Disability Awareness Month In 1987, President Ronald Reagan declared March to be Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, urging “all Americans to join me in according to our fellow citizens with such disabilities both encouragement and the opportunities...
Photo by Vlado - Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos 2014 has been another great year for inclusive play. For those sceptics that say that inclusive play is a fad, the numbers do not agree with you. I estimate that just over 100 new inclusive playgrounds opened in United States and Canada this year. I...
Landscape Structure's Pulse Table
Inclusion occurs when children with disabilities unconditionally participate in regular recreation opportunities in their own community. In terms of playgrounds this means that a family who is raising a child with disabilities should be able to go to...
The Complicated Issue of Surfacing - Mara Kaplan You cannot even begin to design an inclusive playground if you have not dealt with that most basic concept of ensuring that everyone can access your space. The number one barrier to a playground is surfacing. When I was traveling this summer, I saw...