Utah is about to get a special gift, all because of a mother’s dream.
Recently the funding came through to begin the first phase of Chloe’s Sunshine Playground. A new accessible playground in Syracuse, Utah.
Chloe’s mom, Tara, started the process in 2009. She was inspired by an article she had read about a playground in St. Louis and the mother’s organization, Unlimited Play. she says “They have the cutest video and there’s a little girl at the end who says “I’m definitely going to have a dream about this tonight!” I think that was what did it!” You can see the video here.
So what are the next steps for Chloe’s Sunshine PLayground? They have to get an environmental engineer to do a necessary task and then they will work up their final design and set a date for ground breaking. They can’t wait.
More information and updates can be found on their website, www.thenochildleftoutproject.blogspot.com.
Because recent Federal regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act have defined playground accessibility as a civil right, any that have been build or altered after March 2012 are required to be accessible to everyone. This means soft wheel-chair friendly surfaces and other equipment that help children with physical disabilities play and move around with their peers.
But there is a catch, the soft surfaces, the planning, the equipment, it all costs far more than previous playgrounds and thus, more than most cities have allowed in their budgets. This is where the parents come in. There has been a grass-roots effort where parents have fought and raised funds for new accessible playgrounds. (That’s why you may have noticed that many have been named after children.)
NPR has a great resource to find accessible playgrounds here, http://apps.npr.org/playgrounds/. The data has been added by users and it’s very comprehensive! Check it out to find an accessible playground near you or help others by adding those that you know about. There is also a lot great information and articles about accessible playgrounds and equipment.
It starts with a dream.
Do you have a new or favorite accessible playground near you? What has this meant for your special needs child?