At the 7th World Congress of the International Playground Association a session entitled ‘Developmental Approaches to the Design of Play Environments for Handicapped Children’ was presented by Professor Gary T. Moore, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and this author. Each participant delineated a set of design guidelines they believe can be used to improve the quality of play environments for handicapped children. Moore has labelled his team’s guidelines ‘design principles’. The author has chosen the term ‘primary design criteria’. Many of these guidelines are similar in content and because they evolved out of different processes their applicability to a wide range of situations is suggested.