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Offbeat Handicap: Meaux will open the first fully inclusive and public play area in Ile-de-France

20:15  12 january  2021
20:15  12 january  2021 Source:   leparisien.fr

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Meaux, vendredi 8 janvier 2021. Une aire de jeux inclusive, permettant d’accueillir des enfants valides et des enfants porteurs de handicap va ouvrir ce mois-ci. © LP / Sébastien Roselé Meaux, Friday January 8, 2021. An inclusive play area, to accommodate able-bodied children and Disabled Children will open this month.

A small revolution is underway in the Parc du Pâtis, in Meaux. The very first public inclusive playground in Ile-de-France will be welcoming children these days.

This area will include facilities for children from 2 to 6 years old, able-bodied or not. This is why it is called “inclusive”. According to the Association of Mayors of Île-de-France, it is the only fully inclusive playground in the region.

Admittedly, in other Ile-de-France municipalities, there are some games for disabled children but no area fully designed to accommodate this public. On the other hand, at Necker hospital (Paris), an inclusive area was installed in 2018. But it is not accessible to the general public. In addition, a similar area opened in mid-November in Compiègne (Oise).

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In April, disabled children will also be able to go on a swing or toboggan at Parc de la Gramine in Montereau. “Inclusion, many talk about it and few act, points out the mayor (UDI) James Chéron who has provided a budget of 71,900 euros to install an inclusive area. We want these modules to allow them to play and flourish like all children ”. Six games and a ping-pong table make up this area in which the swing, as large as a basket, accommodates a wheelchair.

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The Meldoise playground, extending over an area of ​​326 m2, will include an inclusive carousel, a musical panel, tactile panels and sensory, a bounce game anchored in the ground and spring games (including one to accommodate four children). All games, except the two spring loaded machines, are inclusive. According to the town hall of Meaux, "motor, mental and sensory disabilities" are taken into account. For the municipality, this represents an amount of 187,000 euros.

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Meaux was the first diocese in France to shelter Protestant reformers during the Wars of Religion in the late 16th century and was much fought over. Meaux is an administrative and commercial centre and has a range of industries including metallurgy, food processing , and electronics manufacturing.

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"Show from an early age the importance of living well together"

The playground will open around January 10. "We must wait for its control to verify compliance, good design, as well as the good condition of the equipment," says one side of the town hall. No detail is overlooked. The entire playground is wheelchair accessible. A special coating is laid on the floor.

“I think it's just great! “Enthuses Jennifer Edouard, treasurer of the Handi'Zen association that she co-created in April 2018. She herself is very concerned by the question since she has two children, one of whom is a little boy of 8 and a half years old, with a disability. “You know, when we go out with the family, all together, and my daughter is tobogganing and my son sits in his chair and watches her, it breaks your heart. What the co-founder of the association therefore appreciates in this area is that all the children, valid or not, will be mixed up and will play together. "This will make it possible to integrate disabled children with so-called" normal "children - I don't like the term - and that the latter realize what disability is", observes the member of the association. .

"Eyes that shine"

Handi'Zen now has "about twenty member families". This inclusive play area in Meaux, eagerly awaited by parents of disabled children, the association hopes that it will emulate everywhere else. “It is not yet open. I live nearby. Every time we walk past our eyes shine. We can't wait to try it out. We would like there to be other inclusive play areas in Seine-et-Marne. There is the first. The goal for us is for it to be everywhere and for it to become normal. "

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This is interesting!