A popular Mesa playground has reopened after undergoing renovations to make it a universally friendly place for kids of all ages and abilities to play and grow.
The redesign of the playground included dual swings, accessible ramps and zip lines, user-friendly for both children with disabilities and those without.
The new playground was unveiled on Saturday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. It was designed so that kids with disabilities could play on the same equipment as kids without, eliminating exclusion and encouraging friendship and development.
The disability-friendly equipment, including the toddler expression swing and 50-foot double zip line, will entertain children for hours. The swing features a regular swing seat and a baby seat, so small children and their parents can swing at the same time, sitting face to face.
There are also boards throughout the playground that help kids learn introductory American Sign Language and Braille, something that sets it apart from other local playgrounds.
To ensure the playground was the best it could be for all children, the city of Mesa asked for the input of local families with disabilities, held public meetings to gauge community reaction, and used professionals in the disabilities field as they planned the upgrades.
The park was in need of upgrades and changes, and then the city made the decision to transform it into a universally accessible park that allows for education, physical development and friendship. Children of all abilities can play together and make memories while learning and growing.