WAZ: Sad failure of play areas for disabled children

The inclusive playground on the topic of The Little Prince was a small revolution in the world of disability. The first oasis. Opened in October 2020 in the Parc de Bayser, in Compiègne, it continues to attract as many audiences as possible, but…more children with disabilities, for whom it was designed.

Because if these facilities open to all were to multiply – each new Compiègne district had an all-inclusive unit, one that opened in May 2021 in Lacroix-Saint-Ouen, one of which should be running next week in Margny-lès-Compiègne – the latter unfortunately victims of recurring rudeness.

So much so that Amal Mashariq, president of the Little Prince Ali Association and agitator of District One, who dreamed of a place where children, different, could play together and let go of prejudices, no longer goes there.

Other users, “don’t bother”

“I know other parents who haven’t been there for a long time,” she sighs. People don’t read the signs where the principle is explained. When we go see them to talk to them about it, they don’t care. The zookeeper tried to intervene, but nothing helped. »

In the face of users’ disrespect, the universal playground no longer has its primary purpose. At Compiègne, a nest-shaped swing that allows paraplegics to swing has been removed. Same thing in Lacroix-Saint-Ouen rest area.

“Yes, I saw the sign, but I didn’t really read it”

“It’s been 4 or 5 months since she disappeared,” says Elaine, who takes her grandchildren to play there once a week. “Teens took over and it got dangerous. They were rocking fast. Kids couldn’t go there anymore.”

Not to mention scooters and other “dark” bikes. “The gendarmerie came several times to scold the young men, but it was of no use,” the pensioner laments. “We had to remove the swing but it’s not normal, admitted the mayor (LR), Jean Desart. The teens broke it fast. We should put it back soon.”

La Croix Saint-Ouen, Saturday. The playground opened in May 2021 and had items for children with disabilities. The nest swing designed for children deprived of their mobility has been removed because many did not respect its original use. (LP/Stephanie Forester)

Do we need to communicate better? If, at Compiègne, the information panel presents what is the all-encompassing playing field at the entrance, at Lacroix-Saint-Ouen, the latter is less clear. “Yes, I saw the sign, but I didn’t really read it. Shamil, I thought that meant it was as good for girls as it is for boys,” reflects one mother, worried about seeing a German Shepherd roaming freely in the area.

The rocking lane for wheelchairs serves as a starting point for scooters

I am not sure this is sufficient. In Compiègne, scooters soon took over the bouncy alley, which allows children in wheelchairs to enjoy the sensations of a trampoline. “They use it as a starting point,” comments Eliane, who also tested the Paiser Park area. Sometimes you find cigarette butts there, it’s sad. »

Combin, Pacer Park, Sat.  The ground was torn in various places and the nest hammock was removed as well.  (LP/Stephanie Forester)
Combin, Pacer Park, Sat. The ground was torn in various places and the nest hammock was removed as well. (LP/Stephanie Forester)

Does the inclusive stadiums have a future? “I wonder, sighs of bright hope. These twists of the nest are necessary and yet they are removed. The problem is that the town councils don’t talk about them enough. In Compiègne, there wasn’t even an inauguration…People don’t know what it’s about, and they don’t cost themselves the trouble of searching. We, the associations and parents of disabled children, can’t be the police every day. It’s a real disappointment.”

Despite everything, other comprehensive areas are planned in Noyon, Nogent-sur-Oise or Creil. Like Amal Mashariq at the time, these are parents who dream of seeing their children play like everyone else. Khadija Ait Baba Ali, Head of Handinsertion, is on the front line in Creillois and will ensure that information is passed on to users.

In Creil, Handinsertion still wants to try the experience

“Believe it! I’ll go to the end! These feedbacks are helpful. The painting is clearly not enough. When you enter the playground, the children are in a hurry, they don’t have time to point. I’ll see if we can mark the games with pictograms. Like the places of the disabled with the characters In wheelchairs, this may force people to respect the games more.”

In Marigny, the city council hopes the ramparts will prevent malicious acts. “The police will open and close the area to prevent it from deteriorating during the night, confirms Bernard Hillal (Modem). Hopefully that will suffice. Municipalities admit that they are powerless in the face of people’s barbaric behavior.” Like all stadiums, sports or fitness areas, it is very complex, he asserts Jean Dysart. We put a lot of money into it and there is no respect. The municipal police passes, the gendarmerie passes, but the customers cannot stay permanently. »

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