Wheelchair-accessible playground comes to Bishan-Ang Mo Kio
SINGAPORE: A wheelchair-accessible swing and merry-go-round, together with a special slide and sand table are among the features introduced on Saturday (Aug 22) and Singapore's first inclusive playground. It was officially opened by Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin.
Built at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, the playground is one of the 11 to be built across Singapore by end-2017, said the National Parks Board (NParks) and National Council of Social Service (NCSS). Six of the 11 will be rolled out later by NParks in Admiralty Park, Sengkang Riverside Park, Sun Plaza Park, East Coast Park, Jurong Lake Gardens and Choa Chu Kang Park.
Two more - in Pasir Ris Park and West Coast Park - will be rolled out by NParks and NCSS under the Care & Share Movement, and another three upcoming playgrounds are collaborations between NCSS and Town Councils.
The playground at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park is one of the few outcomes under the Care & Share Movement, said NCSS. Under the Care & Share Movement, the total proposed grant usage submitted by more than 230 voluntary welfare organisations is S$202.3 million as of May 31, it said. A total of 1,950 projects, which includes the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park inclusive playground, were submitted.
The grant allows VWOs to launch new programmes and expand services, and implement projects that build capacity to cater to more social needs.
ENCOURAGING INCLUSIVE PLAY
NParks and NCSS said that the inclusive playground provides the physical structure that encourages play between children with and without special needs, and will help children without special needs to learn and accept differences and to be inclusive.
The playground at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park will allow wheelchair-using children to mount onto a swing, and there will also be a wheelchair-friendly merry-go-round. Other special needs-friendly play features include a slide that provides additional tactile stimulations using rollers, and an accessible sand table.
To promote the use of the playground, NCSS will link up with its network of VWOs, Early Intervention Programme for Infants & Children (EIPIC) and special education schools with organisations within the community on collaborative opportunities.
The NCSS is also exploring with VWOs on how inclusive play can be considered when schools plan their curriculum or outdoor activities, it said.