Disney Sponsors Anaheim’s First Ramped Playground for Children with Disabilities
Today Disney joined forces with KaBOOM! to bring to life the 11th Disney-sponsored KaBOOM! Playground in Anaheim building a very special playground at Barton Park in six hours thus giving a home to Anaheim’s very first ramped playground for children with disabilities.
One of the things I love most about Disney is their commitment to community and giving back, the Disneyland VoluntEARS were out in full force to make a dream a reality when they partnered with KaBOOM! along with more than 300 volunteers from the Disneyland Resort, the city of Anaheim, Anaheim Family YMCA and the community to build a playground with accessible play features for children with disabilities in just six hours at Barton Park in Anaheim. The Disney Parks VoluntEARS is a charitable organization made up of Disney cast members who donate their time to helping charities and service organizations in their communities around the world. It is part of the Disney Worldwide Outreach Program.
The new playground is the 11th Disney-sponsored KaBOOM! playground in Anaheim, and Anaheim’s first ramped playground for children with disabilities. The new playspace includes unique equipment and accessibility features that allow children to play together regardless of ability, including a merry-go-round style device called a Unity Spinner with seatbelts for wheelchairs. Other accessible features include accessible swings and a new-age teeter-totter called a Teeter Tunnel that includes a feature to help children transfer out of a wheelchair and onto the teeter. Numerous features also were included for visually impaired children such as braille panels.
The idea of adding accessible play features to this playground came from Disneyland Resort cast members in the CastABLE diversity resource group. CastABLE is one of several diversity resource groups at the Disneyland Resort that makes sure the experiences that Disneyland Resort provides are inclusive and relevant.
“This event is a great example of why all of us at the Disneyland Resort are so proud to call Anaheim home,” said Josh D’Amaro, president of the Disneyland Resort. “The collaboration between nonprofit organizations, the city of Anaheim, the Disneyland Resort and local residents is truly inspiring.”
In September, children from the surrounding community, including students at Barton Elementary School, came together to envision and draw their dream playground. The new play space is based on their drawings and provides more than 650 kids in Anaheim with a great, safe place to play. Play is the business of childhood and is essential to the physical, cognitive, creative, social and emotional development of every child.
“This new playground is a shining example of what happens when Anaheim encourages our business partners to invest in our neighborhoods,” said Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu. “Our businesses not only bring in revenue for our city, they also bring generous improvements, such as this, for the well-being of our kids and families.”
“Working with Disney and the City of Anaheim, the Anaheim Family YMCA is proud to be a contributing organization to these worthwhile projects that strengthen the Anaheim community and its residents,” said Dr. Rick Martens, CEO of the Anaheim Family YMCA. “For our many staff members and volunteers, this type of service is always a rewarding experience.”
Since 1996, KaBOOM! has been dedicated to the goal that all kids get the childhood they deserve through great, safe places to play. This playground is one of many made possible with support from Disney, as part of The Walt Disney Company Healthy Living Commitment, a long-standing commitment to creating healthier generations by making healthy living fun and simple.
KaBOOM! works to accelerate efforts that move every kid in America to play every day. Together, Disney and KaBOOM! have built more than 80 new playspaces across America, giving nearly 100,000 kids access to healthier lifestyles and safe places to play and grow.
Thank you KaBOOM! and to Disney’s commitment to giving back for making dreams come true, helping to ensure that every child and family has a place to play. KaBOOM! believes that Play matters for all kids and too many children are missing out on the childhood they deserve. Play is disappearing at home, at school, and in communities, particularly for the 14 million children living in poverty and they are committed to making the gift of play accessible to all. To find out more about KaBOOM! or how you can get involved head to the KaBOOM! website and learn how easy it is to give all children the gift of play.