Social justice department sets up disabled-friendly sensory park at museum campus
Differently-abled people and children with disabilities often miss out on the experience of the outdoors.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Differently-abled people and children with disabilities often miss out on the experience of the outdoors. Lack of wheel chair ramps and stigma often keeps them tied up at home, dreaming about the outdoors.
To make such facilities accessible to everyone, a sensory park and garden has been set up by the Social Justice department on the museum premises. Minister for Social Justice R Bindu inaugurated the sensory park on Tuesday.
The facility was set up by the Social Justice department under the Barrier-free project at an estimated cost of Rs 30 lakh. “The aim was to provide an inclusive play area where children with special needs and their parents can spend quality time. The project also wants to make public places more accessible to differently-abled people,” said a Social Justice department official.
Built by Costford, the 10,000 sq ft park provides the differently-abled persons time and space to be in nature through the sensory stimulation facilities. P B Sajan, joint director, Costford says, “The sensory park has been designed with a facility for outdoor games that will stimulate a child’s senses such as touch and feel. For this, different kinds of tiles and natural materials such as stones and pebbles have been used during flooring. The textured tiles will also give the differently-abled people and children on the autism spectrum accupressure as they walk. An artificial made waterfall has also been provided in the area providing a soft music as the water flows.”
Ramps have also been provided so that wheelchair-bound people can enter the park. There is also a garden with a tunnel and a round maze-like passage with bamboo fencing. Different flowering plants in the garden give the children an opportunity to experience sight and smell.
The other facilities include a performance area with seating facilities in different colours, and special lighting to provide sensory stimulation to kids. This is the third sensory park set up by Costford. The first two were set up at the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) in the capital city and the National Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (NIPMR) in Thrissur.