Disability Network Capital Area is your community resource. We serve Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, and Shiawassee counties. We combine experience and peer-support in delivering services to people with disabilities and their families. On a larger scale, we partner with community agencies, schools, and businesses to improve quality of life. Services are provided onsite and various community locations.
How We Can Help During the COVID – 19 Pandemic
Disability Network Capital Area is here to help! During the Executive Order to #StayHome#StaySafe, all staff are working remotely and are ready to assist. If you are not sure who to talk to, please contact our main phone number at 517-999-2760 and someone will promptly get back with you. If email is preferred, please reach out to [email protected]. You may also check out our Facebook page for the latest updates to programs and services, as well as find details on many local resources. We encourage individuals to also visit www.michigan.gov/coronavirus for the most up-to-date information that impacts our State. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in this time of uncertainty.
We applaud the plan for a playground that’s accessible and safe in Adado Riverfront Park
DNCAP Executive Director Mark A Pierce
Disability Network Capital Area supports the Community Foundation’s goal of bringing a universally accessible playground to the downtown Lansing riverfront. Lansing has ADA compliant parks, which refer to amenities such as walkways. A universally accessible playground builds on this aspect, with specially designed playground equipment that can be used by children with different abilities at the same time. Imagine a child who uses a wheelchair sharing a swing with their friend who does not. I can not help but smile.
It is exciting to see Lansing join the list of Michigan cities to provide this opportunity for their community. Playgrounds provide an opportunity for social connectiveness and healthy living, critical components for life development. For children with disabilities, who are dealing with chronic health conditions, the chance to be outside is vital.
The Community Foundation, in partnership with the City of Lansing, is developing the Lansing riverfront because it is an underutilized community asset that should be accessible and safely enjoyed by everyone. Their first project was Rotary Park. The Foundation was inspired by the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, who built a universally accessible playground plan on the river.
The property is a corner lot, the base naturally sunken, with grass embankments topped by heavy railing at the street level. The embankments also help reduce traffic noise. There are plans for non-toxic trees and plants. The Foundation and the City also have plans for a cross walk with visual and audio functions. Along with the street entrance there will be two additional entrances to the playground.
Disability Network Capital Area provided the Community Foundation with technical support regarding accessibility and universal design. DNCAP looks at accessibility beyond the obvious such as parking spaces and walkways. Are there multiple forms of play? Types of ground materials? Colors and Spacing? Signage and use of Braille? A critical component of universal design is learning from others who have done it, soliciting feedback from community members through a survey, consulting with the designers and being open to problem solving.
The Foundation’s design team has been responsive to all the feedback: 1) Addition of a fence to enclose the playground. This will provide a barrier between the playground and the water. 2) A “Quiet Corner” was added for children who may need a calming place to go, inside the playground but away from the activity 3) Tactile panels and music making instruments are options for children to explore. Lastly, there are 14 accessible parking spaces at the entrance of the playground.
The Community Foundation is working hard to make this playground both accessible and safe. This is an ongoing process. Some questions cannot be addressed until the project breaks ground and can be visually evaluated. If you have ideas, I encourage you to reach out to the Foundation, so this park maximizes inclusivity and promotes the healthy development of all children for generations to come.
I am looking forward to opening day at the park!
Mark A Pierce MAML
Disability Network Capital Area