Over the years, the Town of Ajax has focused on designing its outdoor spaces to be more accessible, inviting and engaging for children and families. As a result, there are several locations around the Town that offer fun for all through accessible and inclusive features.
Rotary Park is one of the earlier parks to incorporate accessible and inclusive elements with its accessible playground equipment and splash pad. More recently, McLean Community Centre (MCC) and Audley Recreation Centre (ARC) have incorporated access and inclusion in its parks: indicated at MCC, the Town is the first municipality in Ontario, recognized by Autism Ontario Durham, to provide an inclusive and safe place to play for all children, ARC features a sensory play centre, an accessible zipline apparatus, a Mayan wall installation for sensory and tactile experiences, as well as several other features including accessible benches and shaded picnic areas.
This summer, the Town has installed a new way to use the playground at Paradise Park – a SMART Digital Playground! Parents can install the playground’s associated app, Biba Playground Games, and direct children within the park to perform special tasks, challenges and mini games. An instructional sign and several augmented reality markers are placed throughout the park to facilitate Biba play. This new feature encourages children to use their imagination, all while having fun and staying active during their visit.
Upcoming plans include the installation of large communication boards incorporating Picture Exchange Communications Systems (PECS) at Rotary Park, MCC and ARC playgrounds to provide unique alternative/augmentative communication supports for limited or non-speaking persons. This will also spread awareness of the various forms of communication and supports present in the community.