A lot of kids love to go to the park. There, they play, have fun and enjoy the playground. Today, it’s not only the able-bodied children who will be enjoying the park, but also differently-abled kids as a playground in Singapore becomes wheelchair accessible.
Just this month, Tan Chuan-Jin, Singapore’s Social and Family Development Minister, officially opened the country’s first ever inclusive playground. The Minister told the public that it will be a place where kids on wheelchairs can play and enjoy without their parents getting worried about their safety.
The inclusive playground was built in Bishan-ang Mo Kio Park, one of the nation’s biggest urban parks. Located in central Singapore, this 62-hectare park is a wonderful place for families to have a fun and great day out.
The recently opened wheelchair-friendly playground is said to be the result of the Care and Share Movement, a national volunteerism and fund-raising movement led by the social service sector Community Chest. Under the movement, a staggering proposed grant usage amount of S$202.3 million was submitted by over 230 voluntary welfare organizations (as of May 31). With such grant, expanded services and new programmes were launched and a lot of projects were implemented in order to make the country more capable of catering more social needs.
With Bishan-ang Mo Kio Park’s new inclusive playground, a play between kids with and without disabilities and special needs will be encouraged. Also, the physical structure will promote an environment where differently-abled children will learn and accept differences and become inclusive.
The new playground will allow kids on wheelchairs to mount onto the swings with built-in seatbelts that will keep the kid safe while in play. An accessible merry-go-round is also available that will let differently-abled youngsters enjoy a make-believe horse ride. The playground also features special needs play like the accessible sand table and a slide that uses rollers providing additional tactile stimulations to the kids.
The wheelchair-friendly playground at Bishan-ang Mo Kio Park is only one of the 11 accessible physical structures that will be built in Singapore by the end of the year 2017. Among the parks that will have an inclusive playground are Choa Chu Kang Park, Jurong Lake Gardens, Sun Plaza Park and Sengkang Riverside Park.