Posted On: Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Ten years ago, SMILE Mass was born out of a vision to create a fully accessible playground in Sudbury. It has been immensely gratifying to see how popular that playground has become, and I still love hearing how families are enjoying the opportunities it provides for people of all abilities to meet and play together. Just as gratifying, if not more so, have been the opportunities to partner with groups in surrounding towns who want to expand the vision of inclusive play to their own communities.
In Hudson, SMILE Mass is supporting Smile2Play in its creation of a Universal Community Playground. This playground, which will employ universal design standards (which exceed the requirements set out in the Americans with Disabilities Act), will create a space where people of all abilities can meet and play together, and will help foster understanding and acceptance. SMILE Mass is also providing fundraising assistance to the Jones Field Accessible Playground project in Acton. This play space will also incorporate universal design elements and will provide the opportunity for all local children to play, explore, and interact in a welcoming environment. Both projects are still raising funds through our website: you can support the Acton playground here, and the Hudson playground here.
In the midst of winter, my heart is also warmed by stories of how SMILE Mass is making an impact far beyond our little corner of the world. Recently, fellow Sudbury resident Lisa Armour recounted how she met a couple at Logan airport who were traveling with their son, who uses a wheelchair. “I told them about SMILE Mass,” Lisa recalled, “and they said that they already knew about it, and used your resources to plan their trip to Florida. You’re really making a difference!” Here’s to our next ten years of making a difference, and helping create communities in which we can all play, learn, and grow together.
Have a story about SMILE Mass you’d like to share?
Please contact our editor, Deb Hochhauser at: firstname.lastname@example.org