Family Outings and Accessibility

Rochelle Followes by Rochelle Followes Additional Needs

Rochelle Followes

Rochelle Followes

I am parent to a gorgeous little blue eyed boy who has complex needs. I have a Facebook page, 'my daily miracle' where I share our life with others...

Great accessibility is a place that includes everybody, a place where we all have access to toilets/changing facilities, a place where we can all get in and out with no problems.

A place where we are not an inconvenience but we are an equal!

Most shops and restaurants near me would not fit into this criteria, my local park being one!

Every child loves going to the park, right?

You see them flying down the slide, reaching the sky on the swings and going dizzy on the roundabout.

You see families enjoying picnics, playing ball and skimming stones in the river, it’s hours of fun.

So why is it that every time I go to the park my heart pounds and I feel a sudden gush of emotions?

Why is it that I feel like an outcast?

And why is it that I have this love/hate relationship?

Some days I will happily go down, meet friends and Zachariah will enjoy the fresh air, the atmosphere and if it's a nice day we'll even have a lie down on a picnic blanket.

However other days I just cannot face it, having to watch Zachariah stay in his buggy whilst other children run wild and free exploring the adventures of the park.

Most parks now have equipment disabled children can use, this usually being a nest swing, high back swing and a wheelchair roundabout.

This is absolutely lovely, inclusion is happening!

But the process is slow as my local park does not have these facilities.

My local park has recently had new equipment placed in the play area, none of which are Zachariah friendly.

So this is where my advocate side needs to come out and I have to fight for my son to get some equipment he can use.

It just doesn’t seem fair does it?

There are approximately seven pieces of apparatus on an average park for children to play on, however only one or two things for children with disabilities, or in our case ZERO!

I just feel that our children who need that extra help and care have to fight so hard for the simple things in life.

Now, I understand it can come down to people not knowing what or how to provide for children with disabilities, but that is no excuse.

You should seek the advice needed!

I know there are lots of families who would love to help you provide more inclusive parks, shops and restaurants.

I know there are families who will happily sit down with you and discuss their needs, after all we, more than anyone else want the best for everybody.

To start my campaign to get more facilities and equipment for children with disabilities I have emailed someone who can help.

I'm really hoping they take this opportunity to help me make a difference!

This blog is to inspire all you families who would like to see a change in your local places, to vocalise your children’s needs, to advocate on their behalf and to educate people on our children's disabilities.

Let’s try and destroy this division we appear to still have and let's see more inclusive play, more inclusive dining and more inclusive shopping!

I feel blessed to live in a world where things are happening.

My aim is to see more changes and more equality.


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