Gordon Hartman was unsatisfied with the typical water park.
Water parks are a fun way to cool down in the summer heat, but they’re often not very all-inclusive for people with special wants. Hartman decided to change that.
His daughter, Morgan, has a cognitive disability that builds it hard for her to communicate. In watching her try to interact with other kids, he realise he wanted to create spaces where she and other children like her were able to easily join in on the fun, ABC News reports.
Hartman went on to build Morgan’s Wonderland, an amusement park in San Antonio, Texas, that opened in 2010. It features rides and attractions specifically designed for guests with physical disabilities.
Once the amusement park was open, Hartman defined his eyes on water parks. For the next five years, he and his team worked with therapists, caregivers, parents, doctors, and water park experts to altogether rethink what a water park could be for people with physical disabilities.
They transgressed ground in November 2015 and finally had their grand opening on June 17, 2017.
What they created is a stunning facility designed to make sure everybody is have fun.
It’s called Morgan’s Inspiration Island, and while there are accessible options in other water parks, Inspiration Island’s dedication to inclusiveness goes beyond the pale.
Instead of steep-walled ponds, guests can get soaked on splash pads instead, which are much friendlier for people with limited mobility.
They can rush through rain curtains and geysers or take a spin behind( or in front of) a water cannon.
Spacious walkways and play areas make sure everyone can move around without restriction. There are also private regions for transferring in and out of wheelchairs as well.
Waterproof wheelchairs make sure technology doesn’t limit access either.
For guests with battery-powered wheelchairs, getting hit with a water gun might seem like a terrible idea. That’s why the park teamed up with the University of Pittsburgh to create a waterproofed version. The chairs, called the PneuChair, run on compressed air , not electricity, so a dip in the pond is perfectly safe. They’re also designed to be lightweight and fast-charging to make sure the guests don’t have to wait to have fun in the sun.
Parkgoers can enjoy a warmer water temperature at the reef exhibit to make it more tolerable and comfortable.
Meanwhile, waterproof RFID-enabled wristbands help parents keep track of children.
The wristbands make sure that if a kid strays off, it’s easy for mothers to find them again.
Normal water parks can get overwhelming. At Morgan’s Inspiration Island, they’ve made plenty of quiet, private spaces for guests to step away when they need.
The park also purposefully caps the number of guests they let in at a time to make sure it never gets too crowded. People can make reservations online ahead of hour.
The park is even economically-accessible anyone with special requires is admitted free of charge. Being in Texas, water conservation is important too. The park is designed to continuously filter and recirculate its water, providing a clean, refreshing experience while also wasting as little as possible.
For Hartman, designing this park was about stimulating sure everyone has a place to play and have fun.
“Morgan’s Inspiration Island is not a special-needs park; it’s a park of inclusion, ” Hartman said in a press release.
Everyone is welcome here, and through their empathetic, thoughtful approach, they actually do mean everyone.
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