Inclusive Playgrounds Let Owen Play
Last Sunday all six of us (oh and the dog) decided to go to Cassiobury Park to have a look at the Grand Opening of the newly restored Bandstand.
During our time there my Husband took to Facebook to share his disgust and upset of seeing first hand how the newly built playground was totally inaccessible for Owen. This post got a bit of attention and support, so I thought it would be a good idea to expand on this.
|My Husband’s Face book post|
Just in case you didn’t see my Husbands post or you were unaware this in a nutshell is what this is all about.
Cassiobury Park is currently undergoing a £6.5 million restoration.
In a previous blog post I detailed how as part of it an old but accessible park which included a Wheelchair Roundabout and other sensory play equipment was demolished and a small inaccessible park was currently being built in its place.
I have previously been in contact with the council, who may improve the other playground in the park to be more inclusive. After the weekend I felt another email was in order to gain an update on any progress and developments which have taken place regarding this.
Here is a extract of that email.
I just want to start by thanking you for installing the bucket swing at Callowland. We made lots of use of it during the summer holidays. Owen loves it. It has been very popular and we often had to wait our turn. I have to say I do feel lucky living so close to Callowland as it is by far one of the few truly accessible parks around.
I would also like to congratulate you on the wonderful achievement of restoring the Bandstand at Cassiobury. We were there for the Grand Opening last Sunday and have to say it looked perfect and was lovely to see it being used. Owen enjoyed listening to the brass band very much.
Unfortunately our day was spoilt as we walked over to the Cha Café and new playground. Owen has three sisters who were keen to take a look at the new park.
Now totally finished I was made even more aware of how inaccessible it was.
It still deeply upsets me that you have got rid of the Wheelchair accessible roundabout as well as the other sensory equipment and replaced it with totally inaccessible play equipment.
Now it has been fenced off the area seemed incredibly tight and a small path that didn’t really lead to anywhere was really hard to push Owen on. Taking Owen in his wheelchair to watch his sisters play we felt incredibly in the way. The hardest point was when Owen got upset just watching. His understanding is not great. I am not really sure how I would explain why he was left out anyway.
Luckily his sisters sensing Owens upset decided we would leave.
We walked down to the main playground just so Owen could go on the only piece of accessible play equipment in the park.
I know in your previous email you said as work begun by the pool area there may be an opportunity to expand the play equipment. I was wondering if there was any further update on this?
I hope Cassiobury will eventually be a park for everyone to enjoy.
I will let you know what response I get from this.
Thank you for all your support regarding fully inclusive playgrounds.
Please get in touch if this effects you also.
|Love this picture of just a pair of Cheeky 4 year old Twins doing what 4 years old do best.. Having Fun Together.|