For specially abled, children and adults with communication disorders
Mysore/Mysuru: In a bid to provide an inclusive environment during play for children with special needs, the All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH), an autonomous Institute under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, has opened an exclusive ‘Inclusive Therapy Park’ at its campus in Manasagangothri campus in city yesterday.
The objectives of the Inclusive Therapy Park is also to facilitate independent play skills in children with communication disorders, to make the children experience the joy of playing together, to provide a holistic development to its beneficiaries and to facilitate the motor skills of adults and elderly with communication disorders.
The Therapy Park was inaugurated by Vikas Sheel, Additional Secretary (Health), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi. Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha was the guest of honour and the event was presided over by AIISH Director Prof. M. Pushpavathi.
Speaking after inaugurating the Therapy Park, Vikas Sheel, who lauded AIISH for commencing the same at its premises, said that there was a need for such Therapy Parks at all parks on areas of cities which would be beneficial for specially-abled people. “There should be one part of normal parks reserved for play and activities for specially-abled people,” he added.
MP Pratap Simha, who also spoke, suggested AIISH Director and staff to utilise social media to create awareness and publicity about activities and treatment facilities available at AIISH so that more people would come to know about it and make use of it.
Therapy Park Committee Chairperson Dr. Sapna said that playing in this Therapy Park would be of much help to communication disorder children and added that an environment for their overall development has been created in this Park.
Pointing out that the Therapy Park provides an excellent platform for the overall development, she said that the Therapy Park fosters physical development which is important for growth, co-ordination and movement of the body, enhances sensory skills, facilitates social development and promotes overall emotional well-being.
Developed at a cost of Rs. 60 lakh
The Therapy Park, which did not have any play equipment earlier, has been developed at a cost of Rs. 60 lakh.
While the children zone is spread on 1,720 sq. ft, the adults zone has come up on 1,000 sq. ft. area. The MCC has provided a grant of Rs. 25 lakh and the remaining amount was funded by the Central Health and Family Welfare Ministry. There are plans to develop this Park in future.
Instructions for Park usage
The Park is open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 7.30 pm. Children below 12 years can use the play equipment at the Children Zone and those above 12 years can use the play equipment at the Adults Zone. Parents should accompany their special children and be with them at all times.
The play equipment available for children of all abilities including wheel-chair users below 12 years are: Wheelchair enabled swing, tyre and rope climbers, mini and multiple play-station, mother and child-friendly see-saw, wheel chair enabled merry-go-round, tyre tunnels and crawlers, sand pit to promote cognitive, constructive, physical and socio-dramatic play, sensory pathway constructed using different textures, a lawn with provision for some physical play, including a tunnel and a crazy path, a multi-sensory interactive wall in the shape of a train to enhance the sensory perception etc.
Exercise area for adults and elderly with communication disorders include skill trainer, double air swing walker, double flat walker, surf board/ air swing, hand co-ordination exerciser, standing twister, abdominal board, leg press, chest press, elliptical trainer and stretching wheel etc.