LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - New feelings and new emotions were all over the Miracle Playground in Fern Creek after a ribbon cutting. It’s a specially designed playground that is fully accessible to children of all abilities and all disabilities, physical, cognitive or emotional.
"We ran into a lot of misconceptions,” Miracle League of Louisville secretary James Breeding said. “Oh you built a playground for kids with disabilities. We actually did not build this baseball field and playground for kids with disabilities. We built this so all kids can play together."
How much of a need was there for this place? The Miracle League estimates more than 10,000 children within a 45-mile radius of Louisville have a disability that would make them eligible to play baseball in a Miracle League program.
"I think it's great,” parent Dena Sells said. “I think it's a mix. I think it helps both ends. Helps the regular kids see what it's like for special needs. And to help. And to play together. I think it's great to have them be all together and play."
On this day, many of the kids didn’t realize how much ability or disability was on the swing next to them. But they will. And that's the really important part of this.
"We think it changes the way kids see each other,” Breeding said. “Children with disabilities begin to play more with children they may not have because of restrictions on playgrounds. And children without disabilities begin to see their peers in a wheelchair for their abilities, and ability to play with them rather than not be able to play with them."
Louisville was the largest city in the United States not in the Miracle League. Delta Dental donated $200,000 to help the complex take shape in Fern Creek Park.