Signs were donated by Randi Mahomes for KCMO Inclusive Playgrounds to help KC kids communicate
Above and beyond what is considered an inclusive playground (physically allowing all kids to engage and play together), Variety KC has installed inclusive Communication Boards to aid engagements between kids and parents or caregivers, kids and other kids, for kids that are non verbal. Along with these Communication Boards, Variety KC is also installing Sign Language Boards to assist in communication and problem-solving challenges for kids with special needs to help everyone communicate.
The first Sign Language and Communication Boards installed are at the Variety KC Hospital Hill playground (located in front of Children’s Mercy Hospital.) These inclusive boards were a personal gift from a Randi Mahomes who, along with Councilwoman Heather Hall and others, cut the ribbon to celebrate this inclusive initiative.
Deborah Wiebrecht, Variety KC’s executive director explains the impact of these boards, “we knew that with our Communication Boards, by pointing or even simply gazing at the various symbols and pictures on the board, even young kids or children with limited expressive language ability can clearly express their needs and wants. What we’ve discovered with the Sign Language Boards is that children like the challenge and learning opportunity and engage with them even more actively. The first thing most users do is simply spell out their name. This, at its very core, is a bridge to inclusion – finding commonalities and ways to play together. It’s one more way to remove barriers and make our playgrounds as inclusive as possible.”
Variety KC Sign Language Boards and also installed at the 15 and the Mahomies Playground in MLK Park and will be installed in 18 additional KC Parks Playgrounds as part of their efforts to partner with Variety KC to make all KCMO Parks and Recreation playgrounds inclusive for all kids!