The city of Peoria recently opened Paloma Community Park with several adaptive and inclusive elements to welcome individuals of all abilities. The city partnered with physical therapists and disability experts from the Peoria Unified School District (PUSD) and Dignified Changes to create a space everyone could enjoy.
“We are thrilled with Paloma Community Park and our partnership with the city of Peoria on this project,” says Dr. Michelle Wagoner, the occupational and physical therapist department lead for PUSD. “As physical therapists, we know the importance of play for all children and we also see and hear firsthand some of difficulties children with disabilities have participating in something many take for granted: a trip to the park. Paloma combines accessibility with inclusivity, making it a perfect place for children of all abilities to get to experience such a simple but essential part of childhood.”
Paloma Community Park has a communication board for nonverbal individuals, ramps, and wheelchair access points on the playground equipment for persons of all abilities. Paloma is also one of the first parks in the state that now includes adult-sized changing tables in the park’s restrooms. Additionally, the restroom stalls are wider and include several bars for stabilization and other needs.
“We are grateful that the city of Peoria is listening to the needs of all of its citizens, specifically their residents living with a disability. With their installation of a universal changing table at Paloma Community Park, individuals that require assistance when toileting are now able to be changed with dignity and not be subjected to lying on a filthy bathroom floor,” says Nicole Anderson, co-founder of Dignified Changes, an organization dedicated to ensuring privacy and dignity is afforded to all individuals using a restroom. “Many thanks to Peoria’s incredible leadership team for inviting us to the conversation and planning of this beautiful new space for our community.”
To learn more about the diverse amenities of Paloma Community Park, visit peoriaaz.gov/paloma.