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Community Favors Making All Playgrounds Accessible

Andy Berg

The community of Sebastian, Fla., is hoping to make sure that everyone can enjoy local parks and playgrounds.

Members of the Sebastian Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee say they’re exploring options for new equipment that would make all city playgrounds accessible for children with special needs.

As old equipment that has exceeded its life expectancy needs to be replaced, Sebastian officials are aiming to replace it with accessible equipment.

“As the playgrounds are replaced, we would add inclusive components at every playground,” Leisure Service director Brian Benton told TCPalm.com. “Instead of spending $120,000 to build an all-inclusive playground at Friendship Park, I would spread that out among existing playgrounds throughout the city.”

The committee also considered rebuilding a new accessible park that was recently torn down but says it just makes more sense to retool existing parks for accessibility.

“I always had a problem with it being separate,” said committee member Joanne White. “I am very much in favor of incorporating new accessible elements when it’s time to update and replace components."

Committee member Jo Ann Webster said the move will allow families with children who might have special needs to enjoy the parks together.

“Being inclusive isn’t singling anybody out,” Webster said. “I like the idea of including everyone and making it a family thing.”

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