Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dreaming Of Playgrounds

I love our school and our love the teachers. They have gone above and beyond to help Nina be as independent as possible. But there is one thing I do not like about our school. The playground.

Nina gets out there with her wheelchair, transfers to her walker and she is off...

Off to watch the kids playing. Climbing. Sliding. Running. She is watching. She gets to play with the rocks around the play structures. Dump trucks, shovels. Maybe a kid will play with her. Kids like her, they really look after Nina.

Ellie and Nina have recces together. Today I asked Ellie if Nina has fun. Ellie said Nina has friends that  play with her, but Nina cannot do anything because the play structures are just not...accessible. At all. Little rocks make it hard for a wheelchair or walker to get through, and no ramps make it impossible for Nina to have any independence. Out there, at school, she is completely dependent in other people. Either to stop and play with her, or to pick her up to help her go down a slide.

Twice a day, in the playground, Nina is disabled. It is a constant reminder that she is not like other kids. She watches, on the sidelines, or from the rocky ground.

Something needs to change.

Nina is not the only kid in her school with mobility issues. She is not the only child with special needs.

So I have been dreaming. I have been dreaming of  "Boundless Playgrounds." With ground where a wheelchair or walker can access the structure. Where there are ramps! Where there are railings! Where a kid with Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Autism, and other special needs can feel just like one of the other kids. Where there is no divide between those that have challenges and their peers.

And I am determined.

You see, schoosl don't have a lot of money, so a playground is not at the top of the list. This is one of those situations where the parents need to step up, raise funds, and make things happen.

This is completely new territory for me!

And maybe you can help me sort things through.

Have you done this before? Have you raised money for a play structure in your school? Do you have connections? Do you know of places where you can apply for a grant? Dream with me!

I am really excited about this.

I am dreaming of playgrounds. Of Nina walking up a ramp right along with her friends. Going down slides. Her being independent! Twice a day... a time to look forward to being outside and being a kid! Yeah!

Let the brainstorming begin!


  1. the funney thing is I was at an inculsive pre school this weekend and relized that their playground was not acessable

    will fallow this story

  2. Those playgrounds are awesome!
    Alina is mobile, she can climb ladders and stairs and is independent playing on the playground, but the wood chips for ground cover make it hard for her to walk, and the two little kids in her ECSE class cannot play because one is wheelchair bound and one can only use a walker to play. The teachers are great about getting them out of their equipment and playing with them, but what happens when they are in school as bigger kids... teachers won't be so readily available for 1 on 1 to help them. :( These playgrounds are GREAT idea's.

  3. I was on the steering committee for a boundless playground in Decatur, Alabama when we lived there (Sarah Kate was a literal "poster child" for the fundraising effort). Our family relocated before it was finished, but I could put you in touch with some people in that area who were involved. Also...Mr. Andi was just asked to head up a boundless project here in our town (it will be a city-owned park, not at a school). He is just getting started, so I don't have a lot of information yet, but he would potentially be another resource.

  4. When I was in high school the community came together to build a new playground. It was a community playground but built at the school. Perhaps some of the area churches and businesses would contribute and/or help campaign for a better playground?


Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. If you do not subscribe to comments, make sure you check back for my reply to your comment.



Related Posts with Thumbnails