Updates

This is an ongoing project with many updates as we work to spread awareness, raise funds, and educate on inclusive play.

Update on Playground Features

After speaking with many community groups, organizations, parents, and kids, we have outlined some improvements to our playground features! The design has the entire playground covered in rubber surfacing, which provides great accessibility for wheelchair users. A few other new features include the accessible merry-go-round, an adapted seesaw, a communication board, ramps and transfer stations, and many sensory panels! To get a better idea of some of these features, check out our Instagram page where we post equipment highlights (@theinclusiveplayproject).

Take a look at the plans!! We are super excited to share these new features with everyone and cannot wait for all of the playground fun.

Giving Tuesday!!

Tuesday, November 28th is Giving Tuesday! This day provides an opportunity for donations to be made to the Inclusive Play Project. Giving Tuesday promotes our playground project while creating awareness for disability and accessibility. To those interested in donating, any amount is appreciated! We are determined to achieve our fundraising goal in order to make playgrounds for everyone.

Head on over to our donations page to make a donation and learn more about our fundraising efforts: https://inclusiveplayproject.com/donate/

New Posters are Available!

Posters and postcards are available for pickup at KidsInclusive reception at HΓ΄tel Dieu Hospital. The posters share information regarding donations and they have a QR code for online donations through CanadaHelps. They are a great way to spread the word about inclusivity and The Inclusive Play Project. They can be posted in classrooms as an educational resource, supplied as handouts, etc.!! We are working hard to to reach our funding goal and we appreciate all of the assistance so far!!

Feel free to contact us with any questions about poster pickup @inclusiveplayproject@gmail.com, or leave a comment on our social media pages.

The Inclusive Play Project Art Exhibition

In celebration of International Disability Day, The Inclusive Play Project is organizing a kid’s art exhibition! Artwork that is created by students will be displayed at The City of Kingston Accessibility Awards Ceremony. Volunteers will pick up any artwork on November 20th. We are encouraging students to get creative while showcasing a theme of “what does accessibility mean to me?”.

Looking to participate?

Feel free to reach out with any questions to:

  • klmeyer70@gmail.com
  • 16ama14@queensu.ca

For teachers and educational professionals:

We provide several classroom resources regarding accessibility on our Resources page!

City Council Meeting! And Others

It’s been a whirlwind of meetings for Rachel Doornekamp and Sara Ogilvie as they have done presentation after presentation to spread the word about this campaign and get support across our community.

They’ve presented to one of the Rotary clubs of Kingston, with others to go. They’ve presented to the City of Kingston Accessibility Committee and tonight they presented to City Council to officially get the go ahead and support to use Shannon Park for our Inclusive Playground πŸ™‚

Because playgrounds should be for everyone!

Watch the City Council Meeting here:
(skip to 1:01 to see our team!)

Filming our Promo Video

Last week we spent the day onsite Shannon Park and filmed hours of interviews with parents of kids with disabilities, kids and siblings themselves, parents with disabilities, special education teachers, and other people who work in this sector and are advocating for this park. It was a fantastic shoot and we are very excited to share why our LOCAL community needs this straight from the people who LIVE in this community. Thank you to Youman Media for entirely volunteering their time to create this video for us.

Here’s a sample of what we were up to!

Extend-A-Family Kingston is an official partner!

Extend-A-Family (Kingston) is excited to announce that we are officially partnering with The Inclusive Play Project to help our community build a FULLY ACCESSIBLE playground in Kingston! πŸŽ‰πŸ’›πŸ›

Once approved by the City of Kingston – Municipal Government, we can start raising funds to make this dream a reality! The proposed park will be right down the road from EAFK at Shannon Park! It will be open to the entire community and maintained by the City of Kingston!🌲

Because playgrounds should be for everyone ♿️❀️

Wheelchair Swings?

So we have received a lot of messages/questions around platform wheelchair swings, and whether or not we will be including one in the park. After a lot of research, it turns out swings are a complicated topic! Due to Shannon Park being a public space, and the weight and size of these swings… there are many questions and valid concerns around liability and safety. Several people have mentioned the swing at the Peterborough Zoo, but after contacting them I found out their swing is kept in a locked space and only accessed through Guest Services with a key.

If you want to read a little bit more about some of the safety issues surrounding platform wheelchair swings (American mind you, but still pertinent), I’m attaching this article which raises some valid and interesting points.

We are working through this and consulting with various organizations/groups to find the safest and most inclusive options on the market. This is one of the main reasons we are looking at a Sway Fun glider, because it provides very similar vestibular feedback to a swing without the same safety issues.

Happy to hear your thoughts and comments!

Costs Associated with Building this Park

So a lot of people have been asking about the cost of the playground. We were still waiting on some pricing, but I think it’s safe to send out some information about what we are working with! I won’t lie, it’s a lot…

Play structure (parts and install) – $400k

Rubber surfacing – $200k

Civil costs from the City (eg. excavation and pathways) – $400k

Grand total of around 1 million dollars πŸ˜΅β€πŸ’«

The City is going to take care of maintenance after the park is built, but there isn’t any current budget to dedicate to the project. So it’s up to us! Grants, fundraising, events… we are working behind the scenes to put together a plan.

The City has our fund set up, so we are just waiting Council approval after our presentation on September 19.

While that number may sound daunting, we are going to give it our best shot πŸ’ͺ if anyone has any corporate connections, or knows a construction company that can give gifts in kind, or has some amazing fundraising idea… please shoot us a message!

It’s going to take a village Kingston! Many more fundraising updates to follow. Please excuse me while I go win the lottery now.

πŸ˜‹

Check out the Inclusive Playground at Lakeview Park in Oshawa

Some of our committee had a chance to visit a beautiful playground at Lakeview Park in Oshawa today. Some really nice accessible features, but more geared at younger kiddies. The playground for 5-12 year olds had super cool features, but wasn’t inclusive. I really liked the accessible picnic tables! Checking out these parks first hand provides lots to think about around our design πŸ™‚

A Quick Update

We are making some amazing traction with the project. Thank you all for continuing to spread the word and invite others to this page to support us.

We are working hard behind the scenes to get ready for our council presentation. After that we can begin our fundraising campaign! We now have a grant writing sub-committee, and we are putting together an event planning sub- committee (a HUGE thanks to our volunteers!) This week we officially partnered with Extend a Family Kingston and we have also connected with Queen’s University to get OT and PT students involved.

One thing is becoming clear as this project moves along… this initiative is quickly becoming more than just a playground. Its sparking some serious potential for change around accessibility and inclusion in Kingston. I’m so excited to see what comes next.

Because playgrounds should be for everyone πŸ™‚

Why a roller slide?

Another super cool feature we will be including in our playground… a roller slide!

Did you know kids with hearing aids and cochlear implants can’t use regular plastic slides due to the static? Enter the amazing roller slide to fix that. Not to mention they are super fun and provide all kinds of great sensory input.

Draft Plan of Possible Playground

We have a draft of the new playground incorporating the existing equipment already at Shannon Park! πŸ‘ This will be subject to some changes along the way of course. A huge thank you to ABC Recreation for their incredible expertise.

Features include:

nice big ramp through the whole structure

– rubber surface with TWO colours (vision is a part of play!)

– Wee Saw Teeter Totter

– Sway-Fun accessible rocker

– roller slide

– spinners

– balance beam

– a bug scavenger hunt

– communication board

and lots more!!

Notice that the rubber surfacing will extend to the zipline, and will be under the accessible swing and spinner as well.

Why do we need this? Watch this video!

If you have a few minutes, I encourage you to watch this amazing story about an inclusive playground in Oregon. Such an inspiration! I will be sharing this video at our Rotary presentation this week because I think it really embodies the vision we are trying to recreate! 😍

Location: Shannon Park

For those of you not familiar with Shannon Park,

Here is a quick drone footage video!

The proposed park site is right beside the current park with the wood chips (beside the zip line).

There is already a splash pad there, skate park, basketball court, raised garden beds, sports fields, and lots of accessibility parking!

PROJECT UPDATE:

So many behind the scenes things happening!

We now have a graphic designer who has offered to help us design some pamphlets, posters etc. We also have a videographer pending to help put together a little promo video to post on the website.

City of Kingston finance department is working on a Canada Helps link, as well as a place for e-transfers with tax receipt.

We are presenting to Rotary today! 🀞they will want to join our cause!

We are presenting to the Kingston Accessibility Committee in September, and then City Council in October for the hopeful “official approval” of the project. After that we will be able to start fundraising! πŸ‘ This gives us time to work on our fundraising plan and continue to get the word out.

We have formed a Committee to keep this project organized and also have a Fundraising Committee. Connect with us and let us know how you can help.

I will keep you posted as we move along. Some great community partnerships in the works too.

– Rachel

Project Update:

EXCITING NEWS! 🀩🀩 The initial design for the first park is HERE! More info and photos to come. Hoping to iron out details/cost in the next week or two.

  • Rachel

4 Reasons Inclusive Playgrounds Benefit Communities

I had a conversation with someone today about the many benefits of inclusive playgrounds. She mentioned her mother lives with dementia and that a wheelchair swing would be so calming for her. Yet another reason why these playgrounds will benefit Kingston ❀️
– Rachel

Community survey



Accessible and Sensory Friendly Playgrounds
Now that the beautiful warm weather is here, let’s talk about play grounds!  We would love to see some more inclusive and accessible play spaces in and around Kingston.  Please help us get the dialogue started!   An area Occupational Therapist is looking to advocate for an accessible and sensory friendly playground in Kingston and area.   Input from parents is greatly appreciated to help advocate to the City of Kingston!

Fill out this survey to gather input about inclusive outdoor play spaces.

Project Update:

I am working with some amazing people in the financial department at the city to set up an account for donations which will allow for tax receipts. We will also be able to accept online donations through the Canada Helps platform.

We have a few people working behind the scenes on a website, and we are getting ready to present to the Rotary club next month. I’m told there is a grant writer on staff with the city, and he is exploring municipal grant options.

Once we have somewhere for donations to be made, we can take this to the media.

Stay tuned πŸ˜€ keep spreading the word!

Rachel