Value of Common Ground
Strengthening Our Community
While the concept of inclusive design in a playground emerged primarily for those with a lifelong disability, there are benefits for everyone. Inclusive design helps those with support and assistance needs, people with a temporary illness or injury, adults with disabilities, and families who have children with special needs and/or typical children.
Common Ground will serve as an inspiration to all who visit Warren County, “Ohio’s Largest Playground.” The size and scope of Common Ground will make it a destination for neighboring communities. Common Ground promises to be the first of its kind in greater Cincinnati, as even accessible playgrounds in the area do not offer an inclusive, boundless environment for all patrons. Common Ground will not only result in a quality park for Mason residents and surrounding communities, but its commitment to inclusive play will impact all of Greater Cincinnati.
Through direct benefits to those who visit Common Ground as well as indirect benefits to non-users, Common Ground promises to provide a new level of value to our community. We can’t afford not to build Common Ground.
Value of Play
While efforts are more frequently made to integrate children with disabilities into educational classrooms with typical children, the same focus is often not given to the playground. Yet play in childhood is part of the learning process, and has an important role in teaching children how to interact and cooperate with others, laying the groundwork for future success.
- Play teaches children social development, including independence and self-esteem, enabling them to learn to negotiate, communicate and trust themselves and others through physical, emotional and social interactions.
- Play helps develop muscle strength, coordination, language, cognitive thinking and reasoning abilities.
- Play allows children of all abilities to use their creativity while developing their imagination and building dexterity.
The child or adult with a disability is not the only one who benefits from having a variety of opportunities to play together experiencing the same activities. Inclusion allows both those with and without disabilities to play in the same place side by side and learn to experience each other as equals, teaching lessons of compassion, awareness and acceptance. The families of both individuals with and without disabilities can also benefit from the learning experience of interacting in a recreational setting.
Improved Quality of Life
As the 24th most livable city in the U.S. as ranked by Money Magazine and Moody’s AAA rating, Mason is the perfect home in the greater Cincinnati area for Common Ground. Mason has a unique vision of how health and wellness initiatives can fuel economic well-being and improve quality of life. In Mason, amenities become engines for economic growth and that growth makes those amenities financially viable.
The increased opportunity for recreation benefits both children and adults throughout the region. Lack of physical activity can lead to obesity, deteriorating physical health and low self-esteem. Individuals with disabilities often do not participate due to lack of accessibility in the environment or equipment or due to a fear of acceptance. In fact, it is estimated that approximately 75 percent of adults with disabilities do not meet the national recommendation for physical activity.
The Kopfler family of Mason models the vision for the true quality of life benefits of Common Ground. Grant Kopfler was born with a rare spinal cord defect. His quality of life was positively impacted by having interaction from a very early age with four typical siblings. As a triplet, his two typical siblings encouraged him to grow and progress at a developmentally appropriate rate. Together, the triplets and their two brothers learned the rules of social play. Grant has learned how to achieve the milestones that come more naturally to typical kids, and his siblings have learned to value every child’s differences and appreciate how every person has something unique to offer.