Fully inclusive playground opens to everyone in Scottsdale

- A playground built for all children opened Wednesday at Chaparral Park in Scottsdale, and it has some pretty unique features.

All 37 playgrounds in the city meet accessibility guidelines set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but it may not always guarantee inclusion, often times leaving out children with disabilities.

So, the city decided to make some changes to the community.

"It always is nice when we're talking about parks and recreations for the 13th happiest city in the country," said Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane. "I mean these are big components."

Lane spoke during the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Chaparral Park.

"Making and designing a playground that is accessible and workable for everybody was the ultimate goal, and I think we've achieved that," said Lane.

Parks and Recreation Manager Brett Jackson is proud of what he and his team were able to accomplish. He said the playground is special for many reasons.

"It is the first in Arizona to be a national demonstration site," said Jackson. "I guess it's kind of an example of what the best practices are in the industry when it comes to inclusiveness, and son we are really proud to carry that banner and say Scottsdale was the first."

The playground equipment is designed for people of all ages and abilities.

"We have a couple of spinning type of pieces of equipment, where those with cognitive disabilities kind of enjoy the sensation," said Jackson. "We have a couple of swings that a little bit more supportive than your normal infant swing or belt swing."

There are also ramps and platforms that are wider, which will make it easier for those in wheelchairs.

For one mother, the playground is a great addition to the community. 
    
"The fact that it's ADA accessible, and if there are kids here with special needs taking advantage of it," said Christie Erickson-Davis. "I think it's fantastic for my kids, for all kids, because it's great for them to interact with each other."

The playground is not only for those with disabilities. There are challenging equipment for able-bodied children, allowing everyone to participate together.

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