PLAYGROUNDS are outdoor areas for children to play freely, yet little thought is given to whether those with disabilities are able to access them.
To address these concerns, Subang Jaya City Council (MBSJ) has built an inclusive playground at USJ 11/5 in Subang Jaya, Selangor to give children with special needs the opportunity to play with other children.
The playground is equipped with ramps and a special block set that offered many play opportunities for disabled children.
Subang Jaya mayor Datuk Johary Anuar said it was vital to provide a playground for all regardless of their disability.
“I believe providing equal space for a person with special needs to fit in will make them feel loved and not isolated,” he said at the launch of the USJ 11/5 inclusive park in conjunction with MBSJ’s World Autism Awareness Day 2022 celebrations.
Volunteers from Persatuan Kebajikan Kanak-kanak Kurang Upaya Subang Jaya (P3KU) and special needs children from The Inclusive Outdoor Classroom (IOC) in Subang Jaya, were also invited to give the event greater meaning.
This is not MBSJ’s first inclusive playground.
Johary said the city council had in 2021 built two others in Pinggiran Putra and Puchong Jaya, respectively, costing about RM180,000.
This year, two more inclusive playgrounds have been planned for Puchong and Seri Kembangan.
He added that MBSJ has proven its commitment to creating a liveable environment through the inclusive playgrounds.
Shahimee Shaffi, 60, who has a child with Down syndrome, welcomed the inclusive playground concept.
“This place provides greater exposure for my child to mingle with normal children as it will be easier for her to socialise with them,” said Shahimee, who is a coach for children with special needs at IOC.
Also present were Subang Jaya deputy mayor Mohd Zulkurnain Che Ali, Subang MP Wong Chen and MBSJ Zon 3 councillor Lee Jen Uyin.