New playground that aims to help the disabled opens in Mesa

Dec 3, 2016, 7:30 AM
(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)...
(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

MESA, Ariz. — A new playground in Mesa, Arizona, aims to help children with disabilities participate in playtime. The playground, located in Dobson Ranch Park, is the first universally inclusive playground for the city.

Marc Heirshberg, director of parks, recreation, and community facilities for the city of Mesa, said all of their playgrounds are already accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act, but said, “This really takes it to the next level.”

According to Heirshberg, the playground provides new experiences for everyone regardless of their disability.

“For those that are on the autism spectrum, we have several play panels that make noise, or they can trace things, or they can interact with musical equipment,” said Heirshberg.

If things get too loud for the children, they can go to the Cozy Cocoon to block out the noise and activities.

If a child is in a wheelchair, they will be able to access every level of the playground through ramps.

“We also have a zipline that will allow even a person in the wheelchair to transfer to that,” said Heirshberg.

The city started to draft plans for the park back in 2011, and asked for community input about the new playground this past January. The playground is paid for through a parks bond that voters in Mesa approved back in 2012.

The grand opening of the playground is Saturday.

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New playground that aims to help the disabled opens in Mesa