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Central Louisiana’s first playground for special needs kids opens in Alexandria

Playground gives kids with special-needs access to play and interaction with peers.
Playground gives kids with special-needs access to play and interaction with peers.(Javonti Thomas KALB)
Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 11:35 AM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Alexandria is now home to an all-inclusive playground, the first in Central Louisiana.

The Coughlin Saunders Inclusive Playground gives special-needs children a place to play and enjoy the outdoors.

The Cabrini Foundation’s private donors funded the project, which is named after one of its largest supporters.

Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall cut the ribbon, officially opening the park on Wednesday.

The park features swings, slides and other fun options that meets the child’s needs.

According to a press release from Cabrini hospital, there’s nearly six thousand special needs children across the region. The playground gives them the opportunity to play, something vital for their development.

Before this park opened, the closest playground designed for special needs children was more...
Before this park opened, the closest playground designed for special needs children was more than a hour and a half away.(Javonti Thomas KALB)

“Play Is the number one occupation of children,” Lauren Guillory, Manager at the Cabrini Pediatric Therapy Center said. “It’s how they learn, how they grow. It’s how they communicate. Play is the most important aspect of a child’s life.”

Before the Coughlin Saunders Inclusive Playground, the closest park for special needs children was more than an hour away in Lafayette.

“We want kids who have any kind of special need or physically disability to be able to play with their peers on a playground. Until now, there hasn’t been a place like that.”

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