Both children with and without disabilities have the same desires when it comes to play. They want to climb, slide, spin, socialize, use their imaginations and have fun without the aid of an adult. Inclusive playgrounds benefit the development of ALL children, regardless of their developmental status or abilities. By playing side by side, these children will learn to appreciate each other's similarities as well as their differences.
One often does not think of the needs of disabled parents within a community. The challenges adults with disabilities face every day can be overwhelming. When you add a child to that equation those challenges can be exponentially more difficult. If a playground isn't accessible to the parent, it limits where their children can play. This creates a barrier to something many people take for granted.
I always knew I wanted children. But, like many of us, I probably took that dream for granted. I spent my 20’s either living my best life with very little responsibility, or dealing with immense pain and physical decline. I was a nurse and I saw the signs. But I chose to soldier on and enjoy every single thing I could. I dealt with loss, addiction, persecution...all of which were incredible obstacles to overcome. But I truly had no idea what was coming.
We are also seeing an increase in grandparents as the main caretakers of children. As the rising cost of daycare makes it less of a reality for some, grandparents have stepped up to the challenge.
The other aspect people don’t often consider is that a disability can happen to anyone at any time. We owe it to everyone in our community to make this playground a reality. By showing our support we can build a stronger bond between all residents and encourage growth within the community.
There are currently 56.7 million adults with disabilities in the United States. That’s one in five who have a limitation in some way.
"I would love to see an accessible place for people of ALL generations and ALL abilities be able to play alongside each other. As a special education teacher and parent, I want to see all children experience an inclusive play environment in our community. It is forward-thinking to ensure residents of IGH have access to a playground of this variety."
-Danielle Wadell, Special Education Teacher