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Lansing parents worry that planned accessible playground won't really be accessible

Adado Riverfront Park universally accessible playground
Posted at 5:37 PM, May 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-03 17:37:00-04

LANSING, Mich. —

The proposed site is near Lansing’s riverfront in Adado Riverfront Park close to a fire station and busy roads.

Lansing accessible playground for children with disabilities

“My son has cerebral palsy and alcohol fetal syndrome and a few other things. And he also has some sensory issues and being that close to a big fire station...hearing those sirens is it's going it's going to cause problems,” said Brian Hagler

Hagler also said his son, Christopher, uses a wheelchair and he has concerns about the busy roads and the park is close to the river.

"My son doesn't drive his power chair that quickly because we have the speed turned down so I can usually catch him before he gets near it. But not all parents are that fortunate where they can control the speed of their child," Hagler said.

Laurie Baumer, the executive president of Capital Region Community Foundation addressed some of Hagler’s concerns.

She said they’ve parented with the Disability Network to make sure that the whole playground is considered by industry standards, universally accessible, and teamed up with the Mid Michigan Autism Association to help with the design.

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She said they will be putting up a fence to keep children from wandering near the water.

For parents like Hagler, who have wheelchair-accessible vans, there will be an exclusive parking lot with enough space to lower a wheelchair ramp.

As far as the disturbing sirens from the fire station, Baumer said, “ We recognize that the playground is not going to be ideal for every family. We also realize that there are children who do not have disabilities who are disturbed by sirens. So every family's going to have to make that decision for their own family's needs. And we recognize it will not meet everyone's needs, but for those families who do feel comfortable and confident in the space. It is a very, very welcoming and accessible space.”

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Erica Murphy

Erica Murphy

1:21 PM, Mar 03, 2021

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Erica Murphy

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