Special needs

28th April 2000 at 01:00
THE ACCESSIBLE GAMES BOOK. By Katie Marl. Jessica Kingsley Publishers. pound;14.95

The Accessible Games Book is a reference resource of games that can be played by diverse groups with members who have sensory or physical disabilities.

It is organised in sections of games for people with limited sight, limited hearing, limited mobility or limited upper body strength and mobility. There is also a cross-referencing symbol system to indicate that a particular game requires a particular ability, such as some hearing.

There are about 90 games ranging from simple introductory name games to games that require participants to disclose things about themselves, squirt water pistols at each other or make animal noises. I use games a lot in my teaching and this book contains fresh ideas alongside many favorites. Group size, procedure and variationsare highlighted in additionto ability concerns.

There are, however, two important omissions that limit the usefulness of the resource for me. First, the accessible dimension only covers sensory and physical domains. What about the games' suitability for participants who have limited reading abilities, who are shy, or who experience learning difficulties? Even a quick reference to how long the games take would have helped widen accessibility information.

Second, there is little discussion of the purpose of the games. You have to trawl for good warm-ups, trust games, self-awareness games or party games. I wanted to know what each game was good for, or at least be given some rationale beyond just playing to encourage mixing.

Melanie Nind

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