A few months ago I wrote about my involvement in the brand new accessible playground that we installed in my hometown. The creation of this playground was an incredible group effort that was inspired by one little girl who wanted to ensure that kids with disabilities could participate in the fun on a playground!
It has been a few months since we began to install the playground, and our town held an official ribbon cutting to present this inclusive playground to the community. Now that it is open for everyone to play on, my husband and I decided to take our nieces and nephew to the park so that we could all play together!
The first weekend in October we had a big sleepover with our nieces and nephews, and to kick off the fun we all walked over to the new playground. This was their first time seeing the playground and their first time playing on an inclusive playground. They loved it! I loved it too, because this was the first time in my life that I have been able to play with my nieces and nephews on playground equipment.
First we tried out the accessible sensory area that has a bunch of musical instruments. My husband loves the drums, but my nephew’s favorite part was the giant xylophone. He loved hitting each bar and feeling the vibrations!
After that, we went over to the We-Go-Round which is an accessible merry-go-round. People with and without mobility devices can get onto the We-Go-Round and make it spin by pushing on the interior wheel, or by running around it while holding onto a bar. I really loved this the most because spinning was my favorite thing to do on a playground when I was young, and this makes me feel like a kid all over again. It was especially exciting to play on this with my nieces and nephews, and demonstrate to them how much fun an inclusive playground can be. Click here to watch a video.
Lastly, we played on the We-Go-Swing which is a multi-user wheelchair accessible swing! I sat on one side as four of my nieces and nephews sat on the other side and we were all able to swing together! Click here to watch a video. It felt incredible to be able to play with them all day and not have to sit out of the fun because of inaccessible playground equipment.
I hope inclusive playgrounds become the norm for all communities, because kids and adults alike benefit from inclusive fun!
About Stephanie Woodward: Stephanie is a brand ambassador advisor for Quantum Rehab® and works as a disability rights activist. She has received many awards for helping communities become more accessible, as well as for her actions in fighting for the rights of disabled individuals as it relates to Medicaid and other support services. Click here to learn more about Stephanie.