Waterford City and County Council recently completed the installation of three wheelchair accessible swings at the People’s Park in Waterford city, Walton Park in Dungarvan and the Inclusion Park in Tramore.
Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr. John O’Leary welcomed the addition of the accessibility swings to the three sites. “These pieces of equipment are more than just swings, they are integral in promoting inclusivity, and providing children with disabilities or mobility issues equal access to playground facilities.”
“Judging by the smiles on the faces of the students and staff of St. John’s Special School, there’s no doubt that the accessibility swing in Walton Park is already a big hit with the children.”
The swings, which have a capacity for two wheelchairs and up to eight people are accessible 24/7, without key access or the need for a harness. Located centrally in each park, the swings are part of the Council’s initiative to encourage inclusive play and social interaction.
Jennie Moore, Teacher at St. John’s Special School in Dungarvan added, “The accessibility swing is a fantastic addition to Walton Park. While there are so many great playground facilities in the locality, the addition of this newest piece of equipment is to be welcomed.
“Already our students are reaping the rewards of being able to play together and the fact that we can access the swing whenever we are in the park is a bonus. We are currently planning school trips with our students and the accessibility swings in the city and Tramore are certainly on our to-visit list!”
Sean Gormley, Executive Engineer with Waterford City and County Council explains the idea behind the swings. “Within the last few years, the Council has been committed to promoting inclusive social interaction. These swings are designed with plenty of capacity, so not only can two wheelchair users use the swing at the same time, they can also do it with friends or family members for a much more interactive play experience.
“Playgrounds are the ideal place for fun and social interaction, and that choice should be available for all children to enjoy together.”
The overall cost of the three accessibility swings was €75,000 with Waterford City and County Council receiving funding from the Disability Participation and Awareness Fund 2021 administered by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.
Works were completed earlier this month by contractors Browne Brothers Site Services.
Images: David Clynch
30: Mayor of Waterford City & County Councillor John O’Leary pictured with Philip Daly and Ryan Hurley, both from Tallow at the new accessibility swing in Walton Park, Dungarvan
37: Pupils and staff from St John’s Special School, Dungarvan pictured at Walton Park, Dungarvan
39: Hazel Robinson from Kilsheelan pictured with Dylan O’Sullivan from Youghal at the accessibility swing in Walton Park
2396 / 3982: Pupils and staff from St. John’s Special School Dungarvan, along with the Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr John O’Leary, Cllr Damien Geoghegan and Sean Gormley and Gabriel Foley, Waterford City and County Council, enjoying the accessibility swing at Walton Park