G Cody QJ Goldberg, a dad from Portland, Oregon, was astounded by how inaccessible his local playground was back in 2009. His wheelchair ridden daughter was unable to play on most of the structures and couldn't even access the swings. In an effort to make his daughter happy, the father redesigned his backyard to be a playground wonderland. Now, over a decade later, his designs are being used all around the world to make playgrounds better for everyone.
He and his family started Harper’s Playground, a nonprofit dedicated to make playgrounds wheelchair accessible.
"The space has to be physically inviting, so if you use wheels you can get absolutely everywhere. Then we say it should be socially inviting, with circular seating areas, communal gathering spaces and the use of nature," says Goldberg, "And then the third level is what we call emotionally inviting, and that’s by using art, good design lines, music, and things that put us in an even better emotional state."
Each park includes musical instruments, handicap-accessible equipment, green areas, paved inclines, and more. Since the first park debuted in Portland, Harper's Playground nonprofit has inspired sites across America to be more inclusive of those with disabilities. A better tomorrow includes kids of all abilities being able to enjoy childhood together.