Let’s Build An Inclusive World Together.
Every two months, The Able Fables® features an inclusive playground, one that is still in the fundraising stage. We donate 20% of profits from each and every book sold + $5 from every shirt of the month sold as well!
Our current feature is…
Passion Behind The Park
Opportunity for all.
On November 15, 2007 our family was blessed with our second son, Tommy. At birth, we knew that Tommy would face many challenges in his future. Tommy was born with severe physical abnormalities and congenital deformities that would require many years of therapy, surgeries, and unknowns. With the love and support of our family, friends, and community, Tommy has flourished and grown into a funny, witty, charismatic, loving, and all around amazing young man. Through it all, Tommy has always been positive and so strong. He has endured more, to date, than most will endure in a lifetime. One of the biggest challenges Tommy has faced, is his ability to get around physically. With the help of a wheelchair and walker, Tommy has gained a level of independence, and can now move around and get where he wants to go without assistance.
As a family, we have always treated Tommy the same as we would any little boy growing up, allowing him to try any activity or sport he desires. We have always remained active outside of the home with visits to playgrounds and family trips to the beach. You name it, and we do it to the best of our ability. As Tommy has grown, visiting playgrounds has proved more challenging than it was when he was young and small. Tommy wants to be independent and play with his peers, without the embarrassment of Mom or Dad needing to carry him to the play structure, and hover around to make sure he stays safe. As a result, visiting local playgrounds became less fun for Tommy, and more difficult for us to enjoy as a family.
In April of 2015, I came across a news story that a friend shared with me. The report was about a brand new inclusive playground in Palo Alto, CA named The Magical Bridge Playground. The article noted that the City would be celebrating the playground’s grand opening that following weekend. In an emotional moment of sincere gratitude, I sent an email to one of the founders of that amazing project, thanking them for creating such a magical place for children like Tommy to play side by side with his peers, without limitations, or barriers. Within minutes, I received a response inviting our family to
come and take part in the Grand Opening ceremonies. Tommy was invited to hold the key to the playground, that was then handed over to the Mayor of Palo Alto, CA.
Our experience as a family that day will forever be etched in my mind as the first day I realized how important accessible play spaces for children, and adults, are for our society. I left the playground that day on cloud nine, and also extremely inspired to bring an awesome playground like that to our hometown in Modesto, CA.
In May of 2015, I visited with the Modesto Parks & Recreation Department and told them of my dream to bring an amazing playground to our own town. With their amazing support, as well as the support of family, friends, community, City Council members, O’Dell Engineering, and Shane’s Inspiration, we are now turning this dream into a reality. When this playground is completed, the Modesto community will be an inspiration to surrounding communities, and an example of the importance of inclusive playgrounds worldwide.
With your support, we know that this playground will help to enrich the lives of all children and families who visit The Awesome Spot Playground.
The complex consists of a basketball and bocce court, .33 miles of walking path with art murals, a completely wheelchair accessible playground (including a wheelchair accessible trampoline, a zip-line, and music arch), 8 bathrooms with six special needs stalls and two changing tables, accessible nine-hole miniature golf course, 5 community gardens, a baseball field, two thrive stations for use by physical therapists and their patients, a pavilion with 4 power wheelchair chargers, and an sensory needs quiet corner.”
Redefine the word INCLUSION
Tom’s River, NJ