Thanks to a grant from The Parks Foundation of Hendricks County, three nonverbal communication boards were recently installed at park playgrounds in Brownsburg to create inclusive play spaces.
The boards, located at Arbuckle Acres Park, Stephens Park, and Williams Park, will help facilitate play narration and language learning in the park by allowing children to express thoughts and feelings by pointing to pictures on display. Each communication board features common words, numbers, and symbols.
"These communication boards are a welcome addition as they allow all children to confidently enjoy our parks," said Brownsburg Park Board President Judy Kenninger. “We hope they eliminate potential communication barriers that would result in kids feeling isolated or discouraged.”
March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. The communication boards are one tool to help people of all abilities enjoy parks. Adults and children with disabilities comprise nearly a fifth of Indiana's population, representing more than 54 million Americans.
"It's important that we provide safe, inclusive spaces and opportunities for everyone,” said Brownsburg Town Council President Travis Tschaenn. "We’re proud to offer increased accessibility for individuals with communication impairments and provide a unique tool for families to enjoy when visiting.”
The communication boards were funded by a grant from The Parks Foundation of Hendricks County in partnership with the Hendricks County Community Foundation. The Parks Foundations of Hendricks County cultivates financial resources to enhance the county’s public parks and trails and has been serving the Hendricks County community since 2009.
“The Parks Foundation of Hendricks County is delighted to support efforts like this one that create inclusive play spaces for our entire community,” said Parks Foundation of Hendricks County Executive Director Katy Cummings, “These boards help facilitate an environment where children can play alongside their friends of all abilities and engage in park play despite their physical, social or developmental differences."