Grand Rapids, MI (May 7, 2016) - The Mary Free Bed YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, Michigan has been awarded the world's first Universal Global Design certification from the prestigious Global Universal Design Commission (GUDC). The facility includes an inclusive playground designed by Sinclair Recreation, the exclusive GameTime representative in Michigan. The new inclusive playground was a contributing factor in the GUDC decision to name the Mary Free Bed YMCA the first building in the world to receive Universal Design Certification.
Sinclair Recreation, led by husband and wife team Diane and Rich Sinclair, is no stranger to best practices in inclusive design. Their inclusive playgrounds can be found all over Michigan and Indiana, and throughout the United States. Diane developed design concepts for the new playground and Rich led the construction team. The Sinclairs used the guidelines found in Me2, the 7 Principles of Playground Design™ to guide the overall function, and GameTime’s line of inclusive and sensory products to fill the design parameters. Me2 is a best practice research guidebook developed by GameTime’s parent company, PlayCore, in partnership with the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University.
“Some playground builders try to use the principles of inclusion that were designed for buildings,” Diane Sinclair stated. “Me2 tailors those principles specifically to the playground environment to meet the needs of the whole child. Along with GameTime’s leading selection of inclusive play products, we were able to provide a design that met the Y’s vision for service to all.”
The play space features adaptive swings, designed with built in “seat belts” similar to those found on roller coasters so people who are not able to support themselves in a sitting position can enjoy the many benefits a swing has to offer. The main play system features sensory-rich activities, as well as traditional slides and climbers. The structure is accessed by a ramp, thanks to Sinclair’s clever use of a sidewalk berm to maximize height access in the space available. The play area also features a poured rubber surface that is highly accessible and compliant with playground safety standards.
“We were thrilled to be part of this monumental undertaking,” Rich Sinclair stated. “The efforts of all the people who came together to make this project a reality are commendable. This YMCA has a passion and vision for serving people of all abilities. It’s a model for other organizations that want to build truly inclusive recreation spaces.”
The Mary Free Bed YMCA can be found at 5500 Burton Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI.
GameTime is a leading manufacturer of commercial playgrounds, custom play spaces and outdoor fitness equipment. Headquartered in Fort Payne, Alabama, and with distribution around the world, GameTime has been dedicated to enriching childhood through play since our founding in 1929. We bring together the right corporate, civic and nonprofit partners to build healthy, active communities that make the world a better place for children and families.
About Sinclair Recreation
Sinclair Recreation, LLC is headquartered in Holland, MI. Their staff and sales associates have over 100 collective years representing GameTime in Michigan and Indiana. Sinclair Recreation believes that customers come first, and provides the best playground equipment, the most comprehensive customer service, and the most professional installation in the industry.
PlayCore helps build stronger communities around the world by advancing play through research, programs, and partnerships, combining best in class planning and education programs with the most comprehensive array of recreation products available to create solutions that match the unique needs of each community they serve.
Director of Marketing Communications, GameTime