Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Who is Touched by Olivia?

Who is Touched by Olivia? 

In the darkest grief an adult might experience, two inspiring parents decided that their daughter’s death would not be in vain. Touched by Olivia was formed in Australia in 2006 by the Perkins Family, following the loss of their baby daughter, Olivia to a rare disease. With a strategy aimed at creating healthier and happier lives for children, our core focus centres on creating inclusive playspaces across Australia.

Side by Side, Hand in Hand

Through play we learn how to be part of society. Play is a fundamental part of childhood, and according to the United Nations it is a child’s right to enjoy play and leisure.
Touched by Olivia has created a unique model based on partnership by bringing together communities, government and corporate Australia to deliver special places that change the way our society plays. Through extensive research, advocacy and guidelines based on the Universal Design Principles, we assist communities to create special places that encourage and invite social inclusion through play.

Many playspaces in Australia do not meet the needs of their community. Physical disabilities, coupled with childhood disorders, and the ever- changing demographic of stay at home carers, means that every detail needs to be considered for a space to be truly inclusive. It’s not about installing a liberty swing and a few ramps up to a slippery slide. It means designing and creating custom made, accessible and intergenerational play equipment and amenities, incorporating accessible pathways, passive areas, sensory and tactile play and artworks, graduated challenges, points of recognition and visual cues, fencing, accessible parking and bus drop off zones.

Why Inclusive Playspaces?

  • 1 in 5 Australians have a disability.
  • 61% of children aged 5-14 years with a disability have an intellectual disability.
  • 1 in 100 Australian children have an autism spectrum disorder.
  • Nationwide spread of high density living in units and apartments highlights the need for access to quality inclusive community spaces.
  • 25% of children are overweight or obese
  • Over 43% of working families use grandparents to care for their young children.

How can you help us?

  1. Talk about play and inclusion ... follow, like and share our messages
  2. Raise awareness for the need to create an inclusive playspace in your community. Help us bring a Livvi's Place to your town.
  3. Raise funds to help us do our work... talk to your employer about grant programs, matched giving or simply make a donation here:

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