Playgrounds must strive for inclusion

Recently, there was an article concerning Blair Park and Recreation Commission receiving funds to upgrade parks throughout Blair County.

I would like to appeal on behalf of families of loved ones that have children with learning disabilities ranging from autism (varying levels on the spectrum) to children that have severe physical and mental disabilities.

It is time that all parks that are facilitated by public park and recreation funding make it a top priority that inclusive playground equipment become a priority when planning to update the local parks.

With the steady increase of children with learning disabilities such as autism, hearing and speech disabilities, visual disabilities and so on, it is just a lack of responsibility if these park upgrades do not address these families’ needs.

We are in a day and time, unfortunately, that the number of children with life altering disabilities has increased exponentially.

Families with children that have life altering disabilities are taxpayers also.

As the founder of an organization working diligently to raise awareness of life-altering diseases, I speak on a regular basis with the residents of central Pennsylvania. I can assure you that the numbers of families that would like to frequent these parks is a very large number.

Many families have felt shunned by the local parks in the past and continue to this day. We are falling short of our responsibilities to all residents throughout our communities. We are not asking for much, just inclusion so our families can frequent these public parks with others.

Penny Brunner