The Magical Bridge Foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission to build all access playgrounds for people of all abilities. Not only are their playgrounds wheel chair accessible for children and their parents who may have disabilities, the structures are also autism friendly and made of wood and non toxic paint where possible. The first location is in Palo Alto. Even if you weren’t told that this is a playground with access for people with disabilities, it’s still a very large and fun space. I had a chance to get a tour with one of founders of Magical Bridge Foundation who estimates that 90% of the patrons to the playground do not have disabilities. You wouldn’t be able to differentiate the disabled from those who are not and that’s the whole point. Thank you Olenka for giving my son this Kindness Ambassador t-shirt which fits perfectly!
I made a video of our day at Magical Bridge in Palo Alto.
During our tour, I learned about some of the special requirements that children with autism have which are not addressed with regular playgrounds. They can be easily over stimulated. Everything from the color choices and textures at Magical Bridge are chosen with these sensitivities in mind. There are also special pods where they can enjoy spinning around and still feel a sense of privacy from others children and noises. This video below shows more details about the design of these structures.
Magical Bridge will be expanding its playgrounds in the Bay Area to the following cities:
Redwood City (breaking ground in 2017)
Morgan Hill (TBD)
As a non-profit group designing and building these special playgrounds can be costly. The Magical Bridge Foundation runs on donations. To help donate to the organization or to a playground nearest you, check out this link.