Water parks are a popular way to beat the heat during summer while having fun with family and friends. Unfortunately, water parks, and many parks in general, are not easily accessible to people with disabilities or special needs.
A new water park has been designed to be 100 percent accessible to people with disabilities.
The tropical-themed Morgan’s Inspiration Island in Austin, Texas, opens on June 17 and is fully wheelchair accessible. The park boasts six major attractions, such as an accessible river boat ride and a variety of “splash pads.” Unlike pools, splash pads are easier to use for people with disabilities.
The park includes surfaces with geysers, water cannons, and rain curtains.
The park even partnered with the University of Pittsburgh to create a new waterproof type of wheelchair called the PneuChair that uses compressed air instead of batteries. Guests can use the waterproof chairs for free, so they don’t damage their own chairs. The chairs are lighter than their traditional counterparts and faster to “recharge,” but run just as long as batteries. In addition, if they prefer, guests can also use a traditional pushed wheelchair.
Did I mention the best part? The park is free for anyone with a disability!
The park is also designed to be easier on parents than most parks. Children will wear high-tech, waterproof wristbands that can be used to locate them if they wander off. Private areas are available to those who want to avoid the crowds and noise. In fact, the park’s attendance is intentionally limited to ensure a milder experience than at most parks; the park is able to accomplish this by requiring patrons purchase their tickets online in advance.
Fun for everyone, even if you don’t have a disability!
According to Mashable, “Our goal is to provide a great guest experience in an inclusive, safe, comfortable, not-overly-crowded environment,” park founder Gordon Hartman explained. “Those without disabilities and those with, including individuals in wheelchairs, guests with hearing and visual impairments, and even guests on ventilators, will be able to play alongside each other and gain a greater appreciation of one another.”
“Morgan’s Inspiration Island will concentrate on inclusion, and inspire guests to do things previously thought not to be in their range of capabilities,” he said.