Kids with special needs may not be able to safely use playground equipment normally found in a average playground. For these reasons some foundations will fund equipment for use for kids with special needs. Grants may also be used to make a already build playground safe. For instance a autistic child may need to have a fence around a current playground. A child with limited mobility may need a balance bar attached to a slide.
Research what you need. Kids with special needs are not all the same. When working with a group of kids with a disability it is a must to work with teachers that work one on with with the students as well as venders to help get the right equipment for the group.
Create a wish list of playground equipment needed and next to each piece explain how that piece will be helpful in educating a child. Remember play is a important part of a child's education.
Plan out where the equipment would go. This is important because funders will want to know where the equipment will go and you may need extra funding to get the area ready. For instance you may need a security fence or a extra soft ground to play on.
Do not forget to apply for grants for playground equipment for a basic school program when applicable. Information can be found a schoolgrants.org.
Be prepared to match grant funding. Most grants will only pay for no more then 90% of a playground project. The definition of matching grants is totally dependent on the organization. Some allow volunteer time to install the equipment to count as part of the funds raised,others may require all match funds to be measured in a monetary manner.
Do not forget to work with your playground equipment vender. Many venders are up to date on foundations and other grant sources that fund playground equipment. Look below in resources for a list of major grants for playground equipment.