As we work to realize The Ability Center, we have always maintained that it will not be "acommodated" for or "accssible" to, but, UNIVERSALLY DESIGNED for. Designed for people with disABILITIES so they can experince 100% access, not JUST a minimal set of accommodations that projects follow because they are legally obligated to do so. The Ability Center plans to set the standard of how new developments should be constructed -- with ALL people in mind. I have always said; "it's easier to ask an "able-bodied" person to live in a world designed for those with disABILITIES, than the other way around."
Well, recently my hometown has gone above and beyond and, at first glance, appears to be leading the way for accessibility in MIlwaukee County. As I watched Wauwatosa construct a new playground in the Village's Hart Park, cynically, I was prepared to tear it apart for it's lack of accessibility -- They proved me wrong (see rendering). In fact, the builder, Bob Ornst of Selzer-Ornst, knows first hand how important accessibility is as a father to a child with special needs. Well done Tosa and Selzer-Ornst -- TAC gives you five stars and two-thumbs way up!
But, Tosa didn't stop there. Last month there was an article in the paper where the headline read; "Tosa home to county's first wheelchair-accessible disc golf course." Now, while I would have preferred a traditional 18-hole accessible course, I will give Tosa the kudos they deserve for being progressive with not only one, but two accessible recreation elements in the same year. In the article, Mike Bonk, the Disabilities Recreation Manager at the Milwaukee County Office for Persons with Disabilities said; "We're hoping this will be a small satellite to something bigger." We are proud to say that something bigger can and should be -- The Ability Center.
Thank you to Tosa for recognizing that people with disABILITIES desire to recreate, and deserve the same opportunities to be fit, to be active and to be healthy, as their "able-bodied" counterparts. Tosa, you have made me proud to be a tax-paying resident of your city.
PS -- Dear Mr. Bonk,
Let's talk, so that we can REALIZE The Ability Center and be the first in the count(r)y, not just the county.