Special Park for the Blind

By Drum Digital
21 September 2016

Blind children in Cape Town will finally know how to play in a park and share the same experience as children who do not have visual disabilities

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This is after the Athlone School for the Blind and the City of Cape Town unveiled a blind-friendly park with unique features to cater to children who can’t see.

The park has unique features such as pathways that are made from cobble stones for children to feel their way as they walk there with a cane, swings have bells to warn the children and rubber floors to prevent injury.

There are also walls with mosaic features that are written in brail that add an educational feature teaching children basic biology , a scented garden that is used to teach children the smell of different flowers and herbs as well as Robots in the area which direct children to the park with an automated voice notification.

Fletcher Fisher, the school’s principal says the project has already been beneficial to their younger learners because they can now experience a park and make friends with children who do not have disabilities.

“The children can go there with their families because it’s open to the public, it’s also very convenient because it’s a two minute walk from the school and we use it for Life Orientation lessons,” he says.

Fisher says it will also help blind children academically because it has elements of learning and is a big confidence booster.

Frans Moolman, the schools Orientation and Mobility teacher was consulted during the process of designing the park, and says children will be enabled to walk independently.

11 – year old Clara Tsveture is a Grade 6 learner at the school and says she has enjoyed the experience of going to the park immensely.

“I had so much fun because I used my hands to learn about bees and flowers,” she says. “I also made new friends and enjoyed playing on the obstacle course and swings.”

Although the park was built for blind children, the school also caters for children with severe intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, those who are wheelchair bound and the deaf.

They too have benefited from the project.

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