First of its kind playground opens for people of all abilities

VIDEO: First of its kind playground opens for people of all abilities
Published: Nov. 8, 2015 at 12:32 AM EST|Updated: Jul. 31, 2016 at 2:22 PM EDT
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WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - People with disabilities can now have a one of a kind experience on a brand new playground that opened Saturday in West Ashley. The Charleston Miracle League and the PlayToday! Foundation held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening at Forest Park.

The TherapyPlay! has an overhead support system to assist users with mobility. It also has a high density foam ground to protect from hard falls. Both children and adults can enjoy swinging, climbing and using the equipment. The shaded space can also be used for other therapeutic activities.

"This kind of thing is fabulous. I'm so glad that there's some people in our community who love special needs kids and want to make sure that they just have the same kind of life," says parent, Mottie Wieters

Wieters says when her 15-year-old son, Owen, comes out to play in his Charleston Miracle League baseball game on Saturdays at Forest Park, he'll now have some new activities on this playground located right next door.

"We created this great playground, 'are the kids going to love it?' you have a bit of what if, and they seem to love it," says the President of the PlayToday! Foundation, Andrew Jaffee.

Jaffee says this TherapyPlay! Module is the very first of its kind.

"There's a difference between adaptive and accessible," says Jaffee. "To be adaptive it has to be able to be changed in my mind and that was some of the feedback we received from parents and community members that there's nothing like this that exists."

Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy at MUSC, Patty Coker-Bolt says normally playgrounds for people with disabilities don't have movable and interchangeable parts, but the playground in West Ashley does.

"We can put up new swings, we can change the placement of the swings, we can vary the height of the swings to meet the needs of our children with disabilities," says Coker-Bolt.

She says some families have swings like this built in their homes because they aren't able to find it anywhere else.

"Now they have a place where they can come and they can play in the community so children can play together," says Coker-Bolt. "They don't have to be isolated."

Now when the children come out for a day at Forest Park, they won't only be swinging bats, they'll also be swinging on the TherapyPlay! too.

For now, the therapy pieces will be out when the Charleston Miracle League is hosting games.

The $95,000 TherapyPlay! was funded by the PlayToday! Foundation and the Charleston Miracle League. It was built by Hogan Construction Group.

You can find more information on the organizations involved here:

The Charleston Miracle League:

The PlayToday! Foundation:

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