A phone call from Nicole and Charlie Gaffney inspired this inclusive playground. Their son, Aidan, was born on December 5th, 1995, with a rare muscular disorder that left him dependent on both a ventilator and wheelchair.
Prior to the opening of “Shane’s Inspiration,” these parents were never able to give their oldest son one of the simple joys of childhood – the experience of playing with his two brothers at a neighborhood playground.
After visiting the Universally Accessible Playground in Griffith Park, the Gaffney family was inspired to create “Aidan’s Place” in West Los Angeles…the second fully-accessible playground in the United States.
Here are some of the fantastic features that “Aidan’s Place” offers:
Young pilots and co-pilots can enjoy a fully-accessible cockpit loaded with features. They can communicate with the Control Tower via a talk tube radio and plan their route on the navigation panels.
Many children with physical disabilities are denied the age-old tradition of digging in the sand because their wheelchairs can’t negotiate most sand play areas. Our Sand Castle is located a foot above the sand and features wide walkways throughout, allowing children of all abilities to scoop, build, and discover at elevated sand tables.
Cool down on a hot day! Spray coming from three misters, which are connected to the play equipment, offers hours of fun and a great way to beat the heat at the playground. Water provides a wonderful sensory experience for all children but is denied to many children with disabilities. These misters are by far one of the most popular features at our second playground.
“Aidan’s Place” was made possible by the vision and tremendous efforts of the Gaffney Family and their friends: Los Angeles City Council; City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks; Valley Crest Landscape; Melendrez, Babalas & Associates; and Landscape Structures; among many other generous supporters.