Buncombe County is diverse. Playgrounds should be, too. The spirit of inclusion is straightforward in a recent partnership that has brought swing access for persons of all abilities to the three largest parks in the County’s Recreation Services system.
With support from Dogwood Health Trust, Sand Hill Lions Club, and the citizens of Buncombe County, wheelchair swings can be found at Buncombe County Sports Park, Charles D. Owen Park, and Lake Julian Park that adhere to Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design. Front and rear ramps allow easy access onto and off a 32 inch wide platform (the same as standard doorway entries). Wheelchairs can easily navigate on specially engineered mulch that also acts as a safety feature in case a user should fall.
“We are grateful and thankful for the community organizations that helped fund these swings that integrate into existing playgrounds,” says Josh O’Conner, Director of Buncombe County Recreation Services. “Disability is not a condition someone has, disability is an experience someone may have. People don’t bring a disability to the playground, they find it there when they are faced with obstacles to their participation. Only through meaningful buy in from community members are we able to provide opportunities for everyone to enjoy our parks in mutually beneficial and respectful ways.”
The swings were purchased through Barrs Recreation of North Carolina.
To see photos from the unveiling of the swing at Buncombe County Sports Park, visit Recreation Services on Instagram or Facebook.