A Universal Amusement ParkPosted on - Monday, October 18th, 2010
I while back I wrote about my very independent three year old who was getting potty trained and wanted to get on the toilet all by himself. Most of the time I hear “I can do this all by myself”. Frustrating at times, but a huge sense of pride for me as a mom. Most disabled children feel the same way, and the frustration is typically more than the fact that the parents won’t let them, but that they truly can’t, given all the obstacles in their way. Disabled children want to be able to go to school, to the restroom and even to an amusement park and use the facilities independently or at least just be able to get in. There are many types of disabilities, such as mobility impaired, visually and hearing impaired. But some that we may not even think of are cognitive and emotional disabilities. A child with autism also wants to be able to enjoy his or her childhood but may have a hard time doing it in the same places as able bodied children. They may feel scared and confused and overwhelmed with all the stimuli.
I typically deal with the disabilities that are written down as part of the ADA and I typically just deal with the built environment when I do my consulting work. But this weekend my eyes and mind were open to a huge and untapped world! While at the Texas Society of Architects convention in San Antonio, Texas I was privileged to attend one of the tours to a park called “Morgan’s Wonderland”. It is an amusement park for children with special needs. And what an amazing place!!!! The first thing you notice is that it does not look or feel like it is a “special” amusement park. It looks like a fun and safe place for all children. What a treat (the only complaint I had was that when we went the park was closed so I was not able to see how the children enjoyed the park…Next time)