Playgrounds “no use” for disabled child With Hypotonia

A mum of a four-year-old girl with hypermobility and hypotonia has blasted the council for building a “completely impractical” play area for disabled children.

Julieann Mayes, from Earl Shilton, says her daughter Marie, who also has down’s syndrome, cannot use the new park in Argents Mead, Hinckley.

She said the steps are too steep and her daughter is “excluded” from using the equipment because of her condition.

The 41-year-old said: “The council has built a lovely park and it looks really nice, but my young daughter can’t use it.

“She loves climbing things and going down slides, but she can’t do that on her own at Argents Mead because the steps are too steep.

“They are more like ramps and I have to lift Marie on top of the climbing frame otherwise she can’t use it, which I don’t think is fair really.

“The park is completely impractical for children with disabilities.”

The castle-themed play area opened last month and features a motte and bailey theme with a timber castle structure, wooden houses, a forest watch tower, sheep and ram rockers and a catapult basket swing.

The mum-of-three added: “I think the council put the design and appearance of the park ahead of accessibility.

“They should have built a play area to include children of all abilities.

“I feel Marie has been excluded, but we have similar problems in most parks in the area.”

Mrs Mayes shared her concerns on social media and other parents said some smaller children also struggle using the equipment.

Harlea Elizabeth Eastwood wrote: “The smaller slide could do with ‘normal’ steps, my youngest struggles with putting her feet into the gaps and can’t climb it by herself.

“It wasn’t very well designed for smaller children, my three-year-old also struggles with some of the equipment but she’s older so can learn easier.”

Cheryl Thomas added: “Why couldn’t they add a few extra things for disabled children alongside the other things so children can all play together?”

A spokesman for Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council said: “The new playground is designed for all children aged three to 12 to use with adult supervision and support.

“Our aim is to provide a play space that children of all abilities can use side by side, so with that in mind, the equipment doesn’t just cater for more physically demanding activities such as climbing but also a wider range of uses including sitting, lying and crawling.

“We’re always open to suggestions for any current or planned playgrounds and so we’d encourage parents to contact us directly so that, with their input, we can continue to provide play facilities suitable for everyone.”

 

Source:hinckleytimes.net

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