LAFAYETTE, La (KLFY) — Downtown Lafayette is working to bring an accessible and inclusive playground to Parc San Souci.
Lacie, Scott, Elodie, and Dutch Chappuis live downtown and play in Parc San Souci every week.
“Elodie is disabled, she’s in a wheelchair. But she still loves to play like all the other kids love to play. But it’s difficult because there aren’t a lot of places that she can actually access the equipment,” says her mom Lacie.
Playgrounds might be accessible for Elodie’s wheelchair but once she gets to the structure there aren’t many inclusive pieces of equipment she can play with. The playground being built will be both be accessible and inclusive so that she can play with her brother and all the other kids.
Three pieces of playground equipment are going to be installed.
“We’re looking at a swallows nest swing, it’s a big round swing that even adults could fit in. Someone can very easily transfer in and out of the wheelchair into the swing,” said Anita Begnaud with Downtown Lafayette. “We are also looking at the carousel that a wheelchair could fit onto, it also has benches along the sides so that other kids or adults can be on the carousel with him.”
“The third price is a climbing structure, think wood logs, it adds some challenge to play, but still using that accessible surface for someone in a wheelchair, they can get right up to the structure with other kids,” explained Begnaud.
“She lights up when other kids are around. It’s good for typically developing kids to be able to see kids like Elodie who are in a wheelchair who may be nonverbal. It teaches them about diversity and inclusion and kindness,” says Lacie.
During South Louisiana Giving Day, over 76 donations equaled almost $30,000 raised for the park. That’s about 13% of their $200,000 goal.