Sport and Recreation
The playground was developed involving all relevant stakeholders, including people with disabilities, who followed each development stage to ensure that all perspectives and needs were addressed. The uniqueness of Friendship Park and the key to its success is the integration of physical accessibility together with structured social accessibility. Physical accessibility is ensured by the topography of the playground itself, the restrooms, and each piece of equipment. Realizing that physical accessibility is not enough for true inclusion, however, BIS developed the playground as a platform for social change, structuring social and educational activities that reach children with and without disabilities, their families, and teachers.
- In 2009 the National Insurance Institute and an additional government fund agreed to provide funding to municipalities developing accessible playgrounds based on the Friendship Park model. The model has been replicated in 30 municipalities all over Israel.
- In 2016 more than 500 children with disabilities used the playground in Ra’anana.
In 2010, BIS received a five-year grant to develop two additional playgrounds based on the Friendship Park model, and both now have active social programming and are under the responsibility of their respective municipalities. Since then, the model has been replicated in 30 municipalities throughout Israel. Since Friendship Park was developed with the intention to be replicated, the work process was documented thoroughly from start to finish. In addition, the model also takes cultural sensitivities into account. BIS has presented Friendship Park at the United Nations and international conferences, as well as shared the model in countries in Africa and South America and in the United Kingdom.