More than a 100 volunteers worked together on Kenosha’s northeast side on Thursday with a common purpose to create a fully-accessible playground.
“This project from day one seems to have been a project that unifies people, brings people together,” Dream Playground organizer Tammy Conforti said. “I thought of all the children I’ve taught through the years who would benefit from something like this and how important it is that children learn from other children and play. What a better tool for children to use, because that’s how children learn is through play.”
One of the biggest impediments at most playgrounds for children with disabilities is they are surrounded by wood chips, making reaching the playgrounds in a wheelchair or on crutches, nearly impossible.
“Oh, my God, this is three years of advocating and educating the need in our city for inclusive play,” Kenosha Alderman Scott Gordon said.
Gordon said people have embraced building the so-called Dream Playground Project as a simple matter of fairness.
He showed off a swing for kids in wheelchairs, special static free slides to protect hearing aids from shorting out and even an accessible merry-go-round.
“There’s a spot where a child in a wheelchair will put in and lockdown with the brakes and then their friends will sit here in the seats, and they’ll all spin together,” Gordon said.
There are musical toys where even the hearing impaired can feel the vibrations. The centerpiece is a giant ship with transfer platforms for kids in wheelchairs.
The dream, Gordon said, is that no child has to sit on the sidelines because of a disability.
The Dream Playground construction started Thursday morning and will be finished next month. It will be built entirely by volunteers, and thanks to donations, without tax dollars.
Author: Nick Bohr
Photo Credits: theplaidzebra.com