For a family with multiple-aged kids, no one can beat water parks for inclusively and ease. Although, it is the definitive place for cooling off in hot-as-hell summer weather. Many water parks in the US have at least some accessible attractions to comply with federal law. Even public water parks are only required under the Americans with Disabilities Act to have accessible wading pools. Although, actual rides and attractions often aren’t accessible to people with mobility-related disabilities.
So, for people with a range of disability identities, a new water park called Morgan’s Inspiration Island is open up in San Antonio, Texas. And it is amazingly accessible. It is actually completely wheelchair-accessible and hopes to welcome people with disabilities via its careful consideration in design. There are also waterproof wristbands available with RFID technology for parents concerned about getting separated from their children.
The park is designed by Gordon Hartman and his 23-year-old daughter, Morgan, who lives with the disability. To do so, they worked with water park consultants, doctors, therapists, special education teachers, caregivers, and most importantly the disability rights community itself.
This tropical theme park has 6 major attractions.
- An accessible river boat ride
- Surfaces with geysers
- Variety of splash pads
- Water cannons
- Rain curtains
Park founder Gordon Hartman said, “Our goal is to provide a great guest experience in an inclusive, safe, comfortable, not overly crowded environment.”
“When Morgan’s Wonderland opened in spring 2010, we really didn’t know what to expect, but the park’s popularity has grown tremendously and encouraged us to add Morgan’s Inspiration Island.”
“Now, we’ll have two attractions like none other that everyone regardless of ability or age can enjoy. Morgan’s Inspiration Island promises to give individuals with physical or cognitive special needs a place where they can splash and play without barriers.”
Hartman even worked in collaboration with the scientists at the University of Pittsburgh to develop a revolutionary new wheelchair. The wheelchair is also called as PneuChair that’s propelled by compressed air. This makes the wheelchair cheap and waterproof.
This efficient PneuChair weighs almost 80 pounds and just took 10 minutes to “recharge” with air. There are also two other types of wheelchair available for guests to cater to their mobility needs.
Another special feature of this water park involves the ability to quickly change water to warmer temperatures.
Hartman said, “Morgan’s Inspiration Island will concentrate on inclusion, and inspire guests to do things previously thought not to be in their range of capabilities. 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.”