That message was loud and clear when people gathered for the ribbon-cutting of Kids Zone Community Playground at Lake Meade Park in Suffolk, Virginia. The playground was designed using the guidelines found in Me2: 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design and is a National Demonstration Site for Inclusive Play, the first of its kind in the city of Suffolk. Made possible, in part, by funding from the Obici Healthcare Foundation and a statewide funding initiative created by the Virginia Recreation Parks Society in partnership with GameTime and Cunningham Recreation, the new play space exceeds the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and creates a truly inclusive place for people of all ages and abilities.
This new multigenerational inclusive play space is designed to serve the physical, social, sensory, cognitive and emotional needs of children of all abilities in the community. Most importantly, it provides an opportunity for social interaction and the development of understanding, and accepting for children with and without disabilities playing together side-by-side.