St. Paul's Go-To Playground Designers Take a Big Cue from the Disabled

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Creating the greatest amount of play activities for the greatest amount of users

Jill Moore’s wheelchair doesn’t prevent her from exploring parks, playgrounds and other public spaces. In fact, as an inclusive play specialist for Minnesota-based playground designer Landscape Structures, she’s developed an expertise in noodling through landscapes that able-bodied people sometimes take for granted, searching for access opportunities and impediments designers might have overlooked, or as she puts it, “connecting the lived experience with the design.”

On Friday, Moore was scheduled to accompany a deaf woman, a blind man, a man with autism and a powerchair user who is non-verbal on an “audit” of sorts through downtown Minneapolis, focusing on Nicollet Mall, Peavey Plaza and the Walker Sculpture Garden. Their goal was to make sure that disability access means more than just a ramp wide enough to carry Moore’s wheels.