UPDATE -- Last month I blogged about how I was "Wauwatosa Proud" because the city was building a new $1 million accessible playground. Well, even though the playground has been open for the last couple weeks, today at 1:00 PM is the Grand/Ceremonial Opening and I hope you show up to honor Wauwatosa, Selzer-Ornst and people with disABILITIES.
Though I am not permanently in a wheelchair, I do use one so I can go on walks with my wife and son. As I get older my limb salvages are getting weaker and more painful -- this is one of the possible effects I knew I would face later in life, one of the many reasons why I'm so dedicated to access and universal design. And, as a new father with a disABILITY, I have seen a new light. While it is absolutely fantastic that this playground is accessible for kids with disABILITIES, as a father who loves to "play," it is equally important for parents with disABILITIES. In fact. my new friend, Rachel Schickowski said it best in her Facebook status; "Spent the morning at Hart Park and it blew me away - I almost teared up. I love that disabled kids or parents can easily go up on the jungle gym and be part of the action, not stuck below watching it happen." Let me tell you, I am not going to want to be, and will not be, a father stuck below! Even if when Jack is 2+ I am a bi-lateral amputee or in a chair, I will want to be in the action with him -- my nieces and nephews got to experience that that is "Uncle Damo," and now no matter what, as we begin to build a more conscious America, Jack will get to fully experience Daddy Damo!
Thank you Wauwatosa, Architect, Ed Haydin and Selzer-Ornst for making sure not only kids with disABILITIES get to play, but so do parents with disABILITIES!
Picture is from Wauwatosa Now's online article; "Playground welcomed back to Hart Park"