Every child should know the joys of spending time on the playground with friends. However, not many playgrounds are inclusive enough when it comes to addressing special needs. This is a problem the Field of Dreams in Toms River hopes to solve. If all goes well, this outdoor complex will inspire other areas to design playgrounds fit for all children. Of course, this includes those with special needs and disabilities.
As part of a brand new series from the Caucus Educational Corporation, Steve Adubato spoke to Christian Kane, founder of Toms River Field of Dreams. The series, Think Tank with Steve Adubato, brings together “leaders, innovators and experts from a variety of fields to explore the critical issues, trends and challenges facing society.”
Toms River Field of Dreams: If You Build It, They Will Play
During the conversation, Adubato spoke with Kane about his son, Gavin, the inspiration behind Field of Dreams. When Gavin was 19-months-old, he and Kane were hit by a truck while driving. During the accident, Gavin suffered a traumatic brain injury. Though Gavin is now much healthier, he still experiences some disabilities. Despite this, he loves to be active and enjoys the idea of a day at the park. However, many parks don’t offer the proper accommodations to help Gavin feel comfortable using the slides or swings.
After a particularly bad experience at a park one day, Kane’s wife helped him finalize the Field of Dreams concept. Now, the organization provides people with disabilities a place to enjoy all sorts of activities; beyond typical playground amenities, the field offers baseball, wheelchair accessible miniature golf, adaptive playground equipment and basketball. Kane assures that the playground is totally inclusive and appropriate for anyone, of any age, with a disability.
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Hero (Top) Feature Image: © Think Tank with Steve Adubato / Caucus Educational Corporation