Over the years, the government in Singapore has taken a more active role in promoting inclusiveness and I am really proud to showcase one of the initiatives.
Accessible Merry-Go-Round @ West Coast Park
I think teaching inclusiveness at the Playground is a genius idea. When I read about the news a few years ago (i.e. 2017) that an inclusive playground will be built in Sembawang, I was so looking forward to it. Today (2021), I finally bumped into one at West Coast Park, which could be an indication that inclusive playground is more widespread in Singapore now.
I feel really excited by this idea that children can all play together. I have witnessed firsthand how a 5-year-old boy flinch in disgust when he saw a child that was different from him. How I wish I could hug the boy and show him that we are all the same deep down. I have also spent time with a 12-year-old girl who longed to play outdoor and go back to school. However, she was restricted to the hospital and her home for 2 years because her immune system was too weak for her to venture outdoor. We never really marvelled at how MAGICAL it is that we can run and go outdoor to have fun until we lose it or witness firsthand how some people are deprived of this privilege. (This statement reminds me of the book “The Stranger” by Albert Camus when the main character finally felt how it feels to be alive after he was sentenced to death.)
As I go to the park mostly during weekdays when the children are still in school, I have not had the chance to observe if this play area has indeed served its function or has been well utilised.
The infrastructures are now available to foster greater interactions among children who carry themselves around on wheelchairs and those with their legs. Hopefully, parents, caretakers, and community groups will all do their parts to educate our children and bring them out to the playground to have fun together!
Further Readings / References