Delano, Minn. (PRWEB) December 10, 2013
Landscape Structures Inc., a Delano-Minn.-based commercial playground equipment manufacturer, along with its partner Shane’s Inspiration, the only Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization specializing in the design and educational programming of inclusive playgrounds, announce the first inclusive playground in Ecuador. On Friday, Nov. 22, Paúl Granda López, Mayor of Cuenca, and representatives from Landscape Structures and Shane’s Inspiration helped open an 8,880 square-foot inclusive playground in an effort to promote equality, cohesion and social integration among children and families in the community. Former Vice President Lenin Moreno, an extraordinary champion for the rights of people with disabilities, initiated the concept of the inclusive playground, inspired by his own personal journey as a paraplegic and his discovery of the healing power of laughter and play therapy.
The grand opening event welcomed more than 500 people—200 of which were children. The ceremony included speeches, musical performances and Cirque du Soleil-like routines, followed by a traditional opening of the playground to the kids of the community. Children with and without disabilities were paired together to interact and learn from each other.
The inclusive playground, designed in partnership with Shane's Inspiration, features playground equipment specifically designed to promote integration among children of all abilities. PlayBooster® play structures include extensive ramping systems to allow everyone access to the center of the action, sensory-rich panels help children develop a range of skills and provide photo opportunities throughout the structures. Even more, the Sway Fun® glider, Rollerslide, OmniSpin® spinner and more were included to provide various play experiences for all playground visitors. See photos of the inclusive playground grand opening in Cuenca on the Landscape Structures and Shane’s Inspiration Facebook pages.
Prior to the playground grand opening, Shane’s Inspiration’s Director of Programs, Marnie Norris, hosted a workshop on social inclusion and play for more than 80 university students majoring in special education, as well as city and community volunteers. Additionally, children participated in a classroom ability awareness workshop.
Shane's Inspiration believes this playground will become a prototype that communities worldwide can use, which will help them fulfill their commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative. In 2013, Shane's Inspiration joined the Clinton Global Initiative by committing to build five inclusive play environments—one on each of five continents—and implement educational programs in order to create social inclusion opportunities for children with disabilities and their communities.
To learn more about inclusive playgrounds that welcome children of all abilities to play, visit playlsi.com/inclusive-play, and learn more about inclusion programming from Shane’s Inspiration at shanesinspiration.org/programs.
About Shane’s Inspiration
Shane’s Inspiration was co-founded in 1998 by Catherine Curry Williams and Scott Williams in memory of their son Shane Alexander. The organization has evolved into a widely recognized, international non-profit creating Universally Accessible Playgrounds and programs that integrate children of all abilities socially, physically and emotionally, fostering acceptance, friendship and understanding. Shane’s Inspiration’s full spectrum service programs work in partnership with municipalities, community groups and families to ensure the successful fruition of universally accessible playground projects. The organization is the only nonprofit implementing full curriculum ability awareness educational programming that works in tandem with accessible playgrounds, creating a powerful global inclusionary awareness legacy, which transforms the lives of thousands of children each year. Visit shanespiration.org.
About Landscape Structures
Since 1971, Landscape Structures Inc. has been the leading manufacturer of commercial playground equipment in the world. The employee-owned company is committed to creating a better world by encouraging outdoor activities that develop healthy kids, families and communities. Landscape Structures designs better playgrounds that welcome all ages and abilities, become signature gathering spaces for communities and offer the most innovative play experiences. The company’s mission from day one has been to enhance children’s lives by fostering and creating inspiring play experiences while honoring the environment.