SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — You can now find a music section with 11 instruments at the River Bends playground.
The area was specifically designed for children like Kylie.
“I put the little drum in her hand, and she didn’t like the first noise at all but we moved to the second one and she really liked it. She lit up, she smiled,” said her mother Maggie Woloszy.
Her 19-year-old has Cerebral Palsy. Unlike other children, she can’t easily get on a swing or go down a slide.
“A majority of the parks that have been erected are all for able-bodied. They are excluding,” she said.
Another mother says, “A lot of the times our kids were left out.”
The Shelby Township community doesn’t want mothers like Woloszy or Maureen Kijek or any other parent to feel like their child isn’t welcome. The community raised about $45,000 and put up a blue area at the playground that removes physical barriers and focuses on senses and vibrations.
“You have the Shelby Township Lions, you have the Rotary, you have the Kiwanis club, local businesses,” said Jim Diez. He’s the project coordinator with Shelby Township Lions.
“It’s not only important for people like Drew in chairs but also his friends that have sensory disorders or maybe on the autism spectrum,” Kijek said.
The playground also has a special rubber mat that parents love.
“That allows anybody to wheel to anyone one to the equipment that is specifically designed for children with disability,” Diez adds.
“These rubber mats are a lifesaver. If they do happen to have a fall or tumble, they are going to be safe and protected,” said Kijek.
Linda Ann Heldt with ‘Kids at Play’ says there’s a serious need for some inclusive playgrounds.
“There’s kids in the Shelby Township area, like 19,000 children that have different disabilities,” she adds.
With this new addition, leaders hope families don’t have to travel to Macomb or Commerce Townships anymore to find an accessible playground for children like Drew Roxx.
“They are trapped in their bodies that might not work but their spirits soar,” adds Kijek.