A new playground opening in Cherry Hill, N.J., this weekend is specially designed for children with disabilities.
At first, “Jake’s Place” looks just like many other nice playgrounds–soft, rubbery flooring, slides, plenty of opportunities to climb and explore, but there are no steps.
All play areas are wheel-chair accessible with wide ramps. Kate Cummings co-founded the nonprofit organization “Build Jake’s Place” to create the playground. It’s to honor the memory of her son, Jake, who had a severe heart defect and died of related complications.
She said the design of the play areas accommodates many different disabilities:
“It is designed so that every child can reach the highest point on the playground, so every kid gets to be king of the hill,” she said. “It has swings that are specially designed so that children who can’t hold their head up can enjoy the swings also.”
Specially designed quiet areas allow children with autism to get away from the noise and bustle when they need to.
Cummings envisions “Jake’s Place” as a space where disabled kids cam play with their typically developing friends and siblings. She sees it as a place where kids can just be kids and forget about their physical limitations.