Call Us
(434) 202-1120
Donate Now

Jennifer Giacalone

Jennifer Giacalone

I work as a special education teaching assistant in Albemarle County Public Schools. In my fifteen years of work with special needs children, many who move with wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, and other adaptive devices, I see a great need for outdoor playground spaces that are universally accessible.

To Whom It May Concern,

I would like to express my support for an universally accessible playground to be built in Charlottesville, such as the ARC Park in Richmond.

 

I work as a special education teaching assistant in Albemarle County Public Schools. In my fifteen years of work with special needs children, many who move with wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, and other adaptive devices, I see a great need for outdoor playground spaces that are universally accessible. In my experience on school playgrounds and on field trips to parks, playgrounds offer limited access for special needs children. Many have no access at all, some, labeled friendly, offer a paved access for  children to wheel up next to equipment, only to let the children “watch from the sidelines” as their peers actually play on the equipment. A universally accessible playground such as the one at the ARC Park in Richmond where wheelchairs could be wheeled onto, in and around equipment would allow these children independence and full access to play and interaction with their peers. This kind of inclusive play would promote the social and developmental growth for all that comes from peer to peer play.

 

For specific children I have worked with, the wheelchair swing like the one at the ARC park in Richmond would be a great addition to the playground. Many children in wheelchairs lack the sensory experience of swinging. Once children reach a certain weight it becomes difficult for caregivers to lift them into adaptive swings. This type of swing bypasses that obstacle and could be of great benefit to special needs children in wheelchairs.

 

Thank you,
Jennifer Giacalone
Special Education Teaching Assistant, Functional Skills

css.php