Some still concerned about playground’s accessibility

wwny Some still concerned about playground’s accessibility

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Watertown city officials have deemed the Thompson Park playground is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. But, some are still concerned.

From the slides to the swings, the Thompson Park playground is certified A.D.A. compliant, or suitable for people with disabilities.

This comes after an inspection at the end of September, which the city hired an outside company for.

"Overall, the playground is in compliance. There were a couple of areas it was recommended that we make some repairs because the materials were kicked out of place," said City Manager Rick Finn.

The materials Finn refers to are the wooden chips around the playground.

Chantel Taylor of Watertown has a five year old son, Ashton, who has cerebral palsy.

She filed an initial complaint with the city, which prompted the inspection.

Taylor says with the way the playground is structured, it's difficult for her son to move around since he uses a walker.

Even though Finn says the city is working to make adjustments, adding mats at swings and slides in the coming weeks, Taylor says it's not enough.

"Compliant doesn't mean accessible. I have proven that a walker and a wheelchair and other mobillities are not able to safely traverse the surface of the playground. So, I am going to focus my efforts to funding a new 100 percent accessible surface," she said.

Taylor says she's willing to raise the money needed for an adequate surface to get installed.

She's also filed two complaints with the state Department of Justice.

"I'm grateful for any improvements that can be made, but as far as the surface in general, it's just not an 100% accessible surface and that's what I'm looking to achieve," said Taylor.

Taylor is hopeful that her son and others with disabilities will soon have a smoother playtime.

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