DELANO, Minn., April 6 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(TM), 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 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(TM), 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 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 program and much more. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.
About Landscape Structures
Since 1971, Landscape Structures Inc. has been the leading commercial playground equipment manufacturer in the world. The only major playground equipment company that is employee-owned, Landscape Structures encourages outdoor play that develops healthy kids and a sustainable world by creating innovative products that are environmentally responsible. The company's mission from day one has been to enhance children's lives by fostering and creating inspiring play experiences while honoring the environment. For more information about Landscape Structures' Inclusive Play and Sensory Play products, visit playlsi.com/inclusive-play, and become a fan of Sensory Play by Landscape Structures Inc. on Facebook.
SOURCE Landscape Structures