Target: United States Congress
Goal: Applaud the new federal requirements that state new or renovated playgrounds must offer equipment and layout designs that are disability friendly
Recently, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the federal government has made changes requiring that new public playgrounds being built or older play areas being renovated must offer materials and layout designs that offer the same type of content able-bodied children enjoy for disabled children to enjoy as well. This means playgrounds with soft but solid ground and ramps for accessing all the points of interest; new playgrounds are also offering swing set seats with full back support, so children who cannot support their own weight alone can still enjoy swinging. We should applaud the efforts from the federal government to change the policies for crafting such an important part of growing up. The new ‘inclusive playgrounds’ will allow all children, abled and disabled, to play side by side, and bridge the gap of disabled segregation.
These new playground landscapes, however, with their extra set of swings, fully rubberized ground, and bundles of make-believe equipment, are rather costly. The average price of these playgrounds run up to about $500,000 dollars to build, plus maintenance costs. Many of the local governments that want to build these new renditions simply cannot afford them. Thankfully, parents and community groups across the country have been inspiring one another with the marvels of seeing able-bodied children and disabled children play together as equals. Through fundraisers, bakery sales, garage sales, personal donations and grants, thousands of communities are raising the money themselves to build these radical new playgrounds.
By signing the petition below, you will be showing your support for the change in public policy regarding the requirements for children’s play areas. Playgrounds are not just for play. They help important social skills by strengthening teamwork, creating and managing rules and forming relationships, while also burning off the extra energy. With these new requirements, and with some help from communities across the nation, more and more disabled children will finally be able to participate in the fun.
Dear U.S. Congress,
I would like to take the time to applaud your recent amendment under the Americans with Disabilities Act, granting disabled children further accessibility to new or remodeled playgrounds known as ‘inclusive playgrounds.’ These new play-scapes must include proper accessibility for children with wheelchairs or walkers via a solid rubber ground surface. Ramps must also be readily available for access to all the playgrounds points of interest. As extra features, many inclusive playgrounds will come readily equipped with accessible swing sets and other sensory aesthetics such as fun textures and noise makers for children who are sight-impaired.
Playing with other children is an integral part of developing into a healthy human being. Social skills, creativity, and smart lifestyle choices are all formed through play time on a playground, whether in school or a public park. I commend your work and decision to give every disabled child the civil right to accessible playgrounds and the chance to be treated equally.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: theinclusivechurch.wordpress.com