2020 Annual WASLA Conference

Seattle Airport Marriott, March 27, 2020

Beyond Inclusive Design: Creating a welcoming, nature-based park for all


Public parks define our neighborhoods and shape our communities, yet too few are holistically designed to be inclusive and even fewer in a nature-based setting. The Eli's Park Project founders in partnership with Site Workshop, will share their roles in designing a welcoming and nature-based park for all at Burke-Gilman Playground Park in Seattle. Come prepared to be engaged in an interactive collaboration that will question what it means to be welcoming and ask participants to define what nature-based means in an urban environment.

Speaker Bios:

Vinita Sindhu,PLA, ASLA, Principal, Site Workshop

Vinita Sidhu, PLA ASLA is a Principal at Site Workshop and currently serves on the Seattle Design Commission. In her twenty years of professional practice she has led projects ranging in scale from small play areas to multi-acre campuses. Through thoughtful design and an emphasis on equity, she aims to connect people to nature and to each other through the artful creation of landscapes that are welcoming, immersive and engaging.

Paige Reischl, Educational Specialist, University of Washington, Haring Center

Paige Reischl is a National Board Certified teacher and spent 8 years teaching reading and writing in Seattle Public Schools. Her experiences in the classroom and parenting children with and without disabilities led her to focus on equity in early childhood education. She currently works with ECEAP (Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program) teachers to support their instructional growth to build a solid social emotional and academic foundation for all children.

Shawn Rundell (Israel), PT, DPT, University of Washington, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Division of Physical Therapy

Shawn M Rundell (Israel), PT, DPT, has been a physical therapist for over a decade, working with children in a hospital-based outpatient clinic, inclusive birth-three and preschool program, and outpatient private practice. She is passionate about promoting inclusion in the community for children with disabilities, increasing early mobility through the use of assistive technology, developing fitness-related programs, working collaboratively with families and other professionals, figuring out creative solutions to daily routines, and creating inclusive & accessible park spaces.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the methods and tools for integrating many voices into an inclusive process that empowers all participants to engage.
  • Learn a holistic approach to inclusive design that considers the broad range of challenges we all face from physical and mental disabilities to the barriers created by implicit bias.
  • Understand the value and benefits of a nature-based approach to inclusive design and how to approach the challenges of accessibility within a natural environment.