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Communications Board enables inclusive play for everyone

14 January 2020

Children of all abilities can have fun together in the playground thanks to a new Communications Board installed by Liverpool City Council at Collimore Park.

The Communications Board uses symbols and braille to help people who struggle to communicate due to disability, language problems or limited expressive abilities. By pointing to symbols on the board, users are able to show what they would like to do and express how they feel.

The board was developed in collaboration with the Autism Advisory and Support Service and funded by the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities program following a grant application by Fowler MP Chris Hayes.

“The Collimore Park Communication Board will immediately benefit families of children with communication difficulties,” Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller said. “Play is so crucial for children’s development and this board will help change lives for the better.

“Council is committed to promoting inclusion through our Disability Inclusion Action Plan. Every family wants the best for their children and Council aims to help them achieve it.

“We’re proud of our wonderful parks at Liverpool and are always looking at ways to make them better, especially making them more inclusive. Recently we significantly improved access to our popular water playground at Bigge Park when we opened a new amenities building with accessible toilets.”

Autism Advisory and Support Service CEO Grace Fava said: “It is exciting to see Council’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan start to come to fruition in particular as the prevalence of individuals with additional needs in Liverpool is quite high.

“Inclusive play is crucial to developing important skills. The Communication Board will support inclusivity and help raise awareness and acceptance in the community that we are all different and should be accepted by all.”

Liverpool City Council hopes the new board will provide a model for others to be installed at playgrounds around the Local Government Area.