Playground manufacturer commits to ensuring children with autism have inclusive playgrounds

Landscape Structures Inc., a Delano, Minn.-based designer and
manufacturer of commercial playground equipment for schools and parks, today announced that it has
become a corporate sponsor of Autism Speaks, the nation’s leading advocacy organization for people
with autism spectrum disorders. As part of this initiative, Landscape Structures will make a donation to
support the research and advocacy programs of Autism Speaks, participate in 11 Walk Now for Autism
Speaks events nationwide, and promote awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the work of Autism
Speaks through the company’s sales and marketing programs.
In January, Landscape Structures introduced A Higher Level of Inclusive Play™, a revolutionary
playground design solution that brings new sensory play experiences to playgrounds at elementary
schools, childcare centers and city parks, and establishes new standards for inclusive playgrounds
worldwide. As part of this solution, Landscape Structures introduced a suite of Sensory Play products
that provide rich tactile, proprioceptive, vestibular, visual and auditory experiences, and help develop
motor-planning skills and social/imaginative play behaviors. In addition, the company’s playground
designers developed A Higher Level of Inclusive Play Design Criteria that now guide all of its inclusive
playground designs.
“We are proud to support the important work of Autism Speaks and to play a role in raising
awareness of autism spectrum disorders,” said Pat Faust, president of Landscape Structures. “We believe
that playgrounds should be places of joy and friendship for all children, and that sensory play experiences
should be key elements in any inclusive playground. Through our efforts, and those of our sales
Landscape Structures Announces Partnership with Autism Speaks — Page 2
organizations, we aim to be the voice of children on the autism spectrum wherever playgrounds are
discussed or designed.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in every 110 children was on the autism
spectrum in 2006— an increase of 57 percent in just five years. Among boys the total was one in 70.
While it has long been recognized that children on the autism spectrum often have difficulty playing and
socializing, little attention has been devoted to addressing this issue on the playground. Landscape
Structures believes that this must change.
“Playgrounds are important places of social interaction and physical and emotional development
for children,” said Mark Roithmayr, president of Autism Speaks. “We are thrilled with the work of
Landscape Structures to make these environments more inclusive, and we greatly appreciate their support
of our research and advocacy efforts.”
Landscape Structures’ new suite of sensory and inclusive play products is designed to bring
children of all abilities together in close proximity to encourage parallel and cooperative play. One of
these products, the Sensory Play Center™, will be featured at selected Walk Now for Autism Speaks
events. This configurable event can include up to nine highly interactive play activities that use marbles,
gears, mazes and kaleidoscopes to bring unique sensory experiences the playground.
About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is North America’s largest autism science and advocacy organization. Since its inception
only five short years ago, Autism Speaks has made enormous strides, committing over $142.5 million to
research and developing innovative new resources for families through 2014. The organization is
dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing
awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their
families. In addition to funding research, Autism Speaks also supports the Autism Treatment Network,
Autism Genetic Resource Exchange and several other scientific and clinical programs. Notable awareness
initiatives include the establishment of the annual United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness
Landscape Structures Announces Partnership with Autism Speaks — Page 3
Day on April 2 and an award-winning “Learn the Signs” campaign with the Ad Council, which has
received over $210 million in donated media. Autism Speaks’ family resources include the Autism Video
Glossary, a 100 Day Kit for newly-diagnosed families, a School Community Tool Kit, a community grant

Landscape Structures Inc., is now a corporate sponsor of Autism Speaks, the nation’s leading advocacy organization for people with autism spectrum disorders. As part of this initiative, Landscape Structures will make a donation to support the research and advocacy programs of Autism Speaks, participate in 11 Walk Now for Autism Speaks events nationwide, and promote awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the work of Autism Speaks through the company’s sales and marketing programs.

In January, Landscape Structures introduced A Higher Level of Inclusive Play™, a playground design solution that brings new sensory play experiences to playgrounds at elementary schools, childcare centers and city parks, and establishes new standards for inclusive playgrounds worldwide. As part of this solution, Landscape Structures introduced a suite of Sensory Play products that provide rich tactile, proprioceptive, vestibular, visual and auditory experiences, and help develop motor-planning skills and social/imaginative play behaviors. In addition, the company’s playground designers developed A Higher Level of Inclusive Play Design Criteria that now guide all of its inclusive playground designs.

“We are proud to support the important work of Autism Speaks and to play a role in raising awareness of autism spectrum disorders,” said Pat Faust, president of Landscape Structures. “We believe that playgrounds should be places of joy and friendship for all children, and that sensory play experiences should be key elements in any inclusive playground. Through our efforts, and those of our sales organizations, we aim to be the voice of children on the autism spectrum wherever playgrounds are discussed or designed.”

While it has long been recognized that children on the autism spectrum often have difficulty playing and socializing, little attention has been devoted to addressing this issue on the playground. Landscape Structures believes that this must change.“Playgrounds are important places of social interaction and physical and emotional development for children,” said Mark Roithmayr, president of Autism Speaks. “We are thrilled with the work of Landscape Structures to make these environments more inclusive, and we greatly appreciate their support of our research and advocacy efforts.”

Landscape Structures’ new suite of sensory and inclusive play products is designed to bring children of all abilities together in close proximity to encourage parallel and cooperative play. One of these products, the Sensory Play Center™, will be featured at selected Walk Now for Autism Speaks events. This configurable event can include up to nine highly interactive play activities that use marbles, gears, mazes and kaleidoscopes to bring unique sensory experiences the playground.

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