A new special needs-inclusive playground has opened on the South Beach in Greystones after two years of campaigning by the Greystones South Beach Playground Committee.
The playground is designed to allow children of all abilities to enjoy the facilities, including children with invisible disabilities such autism, mobility issues, and hearing and visual impairments.
The play facilities include a wheelchair accessible sand pit and swings, a music area designed to allow for self-expression, and a quiet area to allow children on the autism spectrum to relax their senses and recharge.
All of the playground’s facilities are kept close together to create a more inclusive atmosphere.
Pic: Tom Maguire Wilson
Niamh Egan, committee chair, says “It was important to us to ensure that the playground doesn’t look like a “special needs” playground – in fact, it doesn’t look different in any way”
“It’s all about a simple change of perspective that will mean so much to a child who may spend a lot of their time watching rather than taking part.”
Cllr Jennifer Whitmore, committee member and Wicklow County Councillor, praised the opening of the playground as “a great example of what can be achieved when local communities work hand-in-hand with the Council to deliver key community facilities.”
While most of the playground is now open to the public, there are still landscaping areas that need to settle in due to the hot weather and won’t be open until September.