Disabilities-friendly playground opens in Forsyth

All-abilities playground opens in Forsyth

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one in six children are born with a developmental disability.

That would mean Monroe County has 850 children who are affected, so Leadership Monroe stepped up to create an all abilities playground to benefit those kids.

Nicole Butler went out to Forsyth to meet up with a mother who says the playground has helped her child play in a whole new way.

Before school starts up, kids are soaking in as much fun as possible, but this playground is more than what it seems.

"If you don't have a disabled child and it's not something that you deal with on a day-to-day basis, you're kind of naive to how it really is, and so we were very surprised by that number and we thought, 'OK, this is something we need to do,'" Rene Jenkins, President of Leadership Monroe Class of 2016 says.

Building an all-inclusive playground that accommodates everyone.

From wheelchair ramps, to an aero glider, to even a bell wall, they have it all.

Jennifer Brown says her son Zander is non-verbal autistic, and says his senses are off balance, so the movement on the equipment helps him regulate his body.

But Brown,says there's one thing about this equipment that really stands out above the rest -- the sensory pod.

"For Zander, he loves to play, but he can also get overwhelmed pretty easily, so that's just a little pod where he can go and sit and feel safe and comfortable until he's ready to come out again. That is an amazing thing I've never seen before at another playground," Brown says.

She says since Zander isn't able to notice potential danger as easily, other playgrounds make her nervous he might get hurt.

"I just feel more comfortable letting him run around freely. I know he's safe and for a parent to have that peace of mind for their child is a wonderful thing," Brown says.

Brown says she loves that this is a place where all children can have fun and not feel singled out.

"We're a small town a small community, but doing big things for people with disabilities," she says.

The playground cost $70,000 to make. You can find playground by the Monroe County Rec Center on Dan Pitts Drive.

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