An “inclusive swing,” developed for children of varying abilities, has been installed in the swing set play area at Memorial Park. Designed by Little Tikes, this popular piece of accessible playground equipment makes it possible for kids with disabilities to experience the wonders of a park and its swings with their able-bodied friends.
The snug, supportive seat offers children a high-flying ride while helping them coordinate head and eye movements, stay upright against gravity, develop balance equilibrium and coordinate actions on the right and left sides of the body. It is designed to accommodate children ages of two to 12, up to 135 pounds.
The outdoor swing has its own special features that can keep disabled kids out of harm’s way. A safety harness, which provides an extra element of protection for the child, lifts straight up overhead, allowing for ease of seating. The large design of the seat allows children to easily be maneuvered in and out of the seat.
“We’ve been wanting to do this for a long time,” said Parks & Leisure Services Director Rick Martinez. “The cost of a single, inclusive swing (installation and materials for the landing area) is considerably more than an independent swing set with multiple seats.
“We’re thrilled we’ve started this process and will look for grants that will allow us to install similar swings and wheelchair swings within our park system.
“All our kids should be treated equally. This is a small step for us to make play equal.”