Valley View Community School inclusive playground voted one of the best in the nation

Valley View Community School students, both with disabilities and without, enjoy the new accessible playground at the school after a ribbon cutting on Friday, April 28, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

By Molly Meredith 
Signal Staff Writer 

The Valley View Community School playground was voted one of the best inclusive playgrounds in the nation by Soliant, a health care staffing company. This was the first inclusive playground presented in the Sulphur Springs School Union District.  

Soliant examined playgrounds across the United States looking for design, quality and quantity of accessible play features. The Valley View Community School playground is sea-themed and was designed to meet the needs of every child including sensory, physical, social, cognitive and communication needs.  

The green and blue area of the playground prioritizes sight, sound and touch so that a variety of senses can be engaged at once, without creating an overwhelming space. This playground also features a soothing boat and musical notes to play with. Accessible touchpoints are also featured as wheelchair ramps and harnessed swings are available. 

“Join us in applauding the education systems, organizations, companies and communities who played a role in the development of the Valley View playground,” Lesley Slaughter, Soliant senior vice president of education, said in a prepared statement. “We praise Sulphur Springs Union School District for their ongoing commitment to ensue all students — children of various abilities, ages and backgrounds — have an equal opportunity to play, learn and develop alongside one another.”  

The Valley View Community School playground is also being used to incorporate into special education and occupational therapy sessions. 

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