Foundation to build playground accessible to special needs kids

By Stacy

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- For Kingsley Feinman, things like speaking and moving don't come easy. So playing on the playground may be nearly impossible.

"Kingsley has cerebral palsy. He is in a wheelchair. Most playgrounds he cannot wheel his wheelchair on to the surface," said his mother Jennifer Feinman.

But the PlayToday! Foundation wants to make more playgrounds available to Kingsley and other special needs children. Its members are fund raising to build a new playground right next to the Miracle League Field in West Ashley.

"Our goal is to take some of the concept that's been used for Miracle League fields: a soft surface and different tools that can be interchangeable," said PlayToday! Foundation board member Andrew Jaffee.

Playground users who don't have special needs might not realize that a lot of elements on regular playgrounds can be dangerous. For example, an exposed bolt with a sharp edge could pose a risk to a special needs child who has trouble balancing or could fall.

"That's part of our goal is to build something that's rounded that covers up some of these things," Jaffee said.

Feinman said the playground would've made all the difference to her now-13-year-old son.

"This would've been great when he was younger; to be able to play on a playground with his brother and friends alongside them," she said.

Now she wanted to give other kids that chance. He biggest message was one of inclusion in the community, she said.

"I feel it would be great to see kids feel comfortable in an environment that includes everybody," she said.

And though Kingsley may have a hard time communicating, any kid can understand his laughter.

The playground would also be equipped with therapeutic tools. They would enable special needs children to work with their therapists at the playground and get some added outdoor time.

If you want to learn more or donate, visit the group's website.