Together We Play L.A.!

submission by THarris

About Your Organization

Organization name(s):

Shane's Inspiration

Organization website:

www.shanesinspiration.org

Organization Twitter handle:

www.twitter.com/shanesplay

Organization Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/shanesinspiration

Organization Instagram:

instagram.com/shanesinspiration

Describe your organization (Check only one):

Nonprofit organization

For-profit organization

Government

Individual

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.

:

Shane's Inspiration unites people of all abilities through the creation of inclusive playgrounds and school-based education programs.

Please describe yourself (Check only one):

Solo actor (just us on this project!)

Proposed collaboration (we want to work with partners!)

Collaboration (partners are signed up and ready to hit the ground running!)

In one sentence, please describe your idea or project.

:

Together We Play L.A.! will unite the Los Angeles community through 50 play-based events in schools and parks, creating common ground.

Please write a sample tweet to describe your submission.

:

@ShanesPlay + 3000 L.A. Children + 40 L.A. Schools + 30 L.A. Parks + All Ages & Abilities = Together We Play LA!

Does your project impact Los Angeles County? Check only one.

Yes (benefits all of LA County)

Yes (benefits a region of LA County)

Yes (benefits a population of LA County)

No

Which area(s) of LA does your project benefit? Check all that apply.

Central LA

East LA

South LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South Bay

Westside

Other:

What is your idea/project in more detail?

:

At Shane's Inspiration, we believe full equality in play is essential, not optional. That is why our commitment is to provide park access and social inclusion for all individuals. Together We Play L.A.!, will break down the barriers that divide us through an intergenerational play initiative, in partnership with schools and parks throughout Los Angeles County! Hosting 50 events in twelve months – 40 educational school based and 10 community based – Shane’s Inspiration will connect a vastly diverse group of Angelenos against the backdrop of fully inclusive playgrounds, promoting vibrant park usage across the city. The initiative will conclude with a community celebration at a Nickelodeon “Worldwide Day of Play” event in Griffith Park.

What will you do to implement this idea/project?

:

Play as a Uniting Force: The school based aspect of the Together We Play L.A.! initiative will directly impact over 3,000 children in over 50 schools. Our children of today will be our leaders of tomorrow in 2050. We need future leaders that can see beyond our differences, and who are able to unite their communities by building common ground. To that end, Shane’s Inspiration will unite approximately 1000 children with disabilities with 2,000 typically developing children for a day of play on an inclusive playground over a series of 40 field trips. These children will have an opportunity to dissolve their misconceptions, find their similarities, and discover respect, friendship and understanding. This experiential play opportunity will be combined with pre and post educational presentations that explore the barriers that divide us based on common misconceptions. The uniting principals learned through this process can then be applied across race, ability and cultural divides. This aspect of the initiative will run concurrent with the school year, September through June.

Building Common Ground®: The community events will be held on the last Saturday of the month and will alternate locations throughout Los Angeles. Each event will be held at a Shane’s Inspiration inclusive playground location. These events will draw individuals, families, and children of all abilities and will feature “play artisans” that will create interactive play presentations that promote play in unique and inspiring ways. Each event will have a theme and feature the diverse ways in which Angelenos play such as Art, Magic, Sports, Music, etc. One month, renowned wheelchair artist, Tommy Hollenstein will teach the art of painting with wheels. Community members will bring their bicycles, scooters, roller blades or wheelchairs and discover play through art. Water sports for people of all abilities can be featured at Lake Balboa, next to our inclusive playground. Professional, Olympic and Paralympic athletes will present their triumphant stories and engage community members in their sport of choice.

The initiative will culminate in Griffith Park at the Shane’s Inspiration flagship playground in conjunction with a Nickelodeon Worldwide Day of Play! This event will feature performances of prominent play artisans, a resource fair of organizations that promote play in L.A., and a Walk n’ Roll 5K event that will secure the funding to support the initiative’s on-going success.

How will your idea/project help make LA the best place to play today? In 2050?

:

"By playing with my buddy, I learned that I can open myself up to other people who may be different than I am...that I should try harder to get to know people because we are all people and we should give each other a chance." Jenny, age 13, Education Program Participant

The Together We Play L.A.! initiative will dissolve the barriers that divide us by bringing individuals and communities together through play. Shane's Inspiration has been dedicated to making L.A. the best place to play since 1998 through the creation of the first fully inclusive playground in Griffith Park, to the opening of our 37th Los Angeles playground in Sun Valley. This initiative would build on our prior success in this area in the following ways:

*Developing 5 new community driven conceptual designs for 5 future inclusive playgrounds and parks.

*Including access to play for ALL!

*Bringing 3000 children of all abilities together through play and education to replace damaging misconceptions about one another with friendship and understanding.

* Showcasing interactive and innovative ways in which communities can come together through play.

* Promoting park usage through community based play programs that broaden our perspective of one another.

We are only as resilient as we are united. Los Angeles prides itself on our diversity. However, it is often that diversity that keeps us apart. Play is the great equalizer, connecting people through common ground and creating opportunities to discover our similarities, instead of our differences. We bully, fight, and divide because we are afraid, because we feel we are distinctly different. By discovering our commonalities, we are able to weave a more inclusive fabric across our great city. Evan Beachy, former teacher at New Roads Elementary says, "Working with Shane's Inspiration was just that; an inspirational experience for myself and my students. To see their attitudes change from fear, to understanding, to compassion, to friendship was truly something special."

By 2050, we will be facing many challenges that will only be surmountable through a strongly united community. The seeds for that unity will be planted in part through the Together We Play L.A.! initiative that will redefine the way we play together, redefine our perspectives about one another and strengthen our ties that bind. Together we can face the challenges that await us. Together we can build a resilient tomorrow. One play connection at a time.

Whom will your project benefit? Please be specific.

:

The Together We Play L.A.! initiative will directly impact 3,000 children, approximately 1,000 of these children will have some form of disability. Most of the children we reach are between the ages of 1 and 13 and come from a variety of socio-economic circumstances. Within our school-based programs, over 80% of the schools we serve are classified as Title I, which is an indicator of poverty among the student population. Each student that participates in the school program will take home a family guide on inclusion, providing the potential to reach an additional 5,000+ family members. This guide will be printed in English and Spanish.

We estimate an additional 2,500 individuals will be directly impacted by the community based monthly programming. We will utilize our base of 37 inclusive playgrounds throughout the city of Los Angeles in some of the most under served and at risk communities, promoting play and recreational usage at local parks. The goal is to inform the communities that these parks, inclusive playgrounds and programs are available to the families to help promote and engage on-going community usage beyond the one year goal.

We will also utilize print, radio, television, and social media avenues to promote this initiative, raising a broader understanding of the importance of dissolving the barriers that divide us and the opportunities to connect.

On a broader impact scale, Los Angeles is currently a shining example for other communities of how to create play environments that unite the whole of the community. Shane's Inspiration and the City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department travel nationally and internationally to promote the replication of these playgrounds and programs to a global audience. The 37 playgrounds developed in Los Angeles have sparked a world wide movement in inclusive play, generating Shane's Inspiration projects in 15 states, as well as in Mexico, Ecuador, Israel and four in conjunction with the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics in Canada and Russia. As members of the Clinton Global Initiative, Shane's Inspiration is participating in conversations with the Rockefeller Resilient Cities initiative regarding the importance of inclusive play environments as they pertain to city resiliency. The Together We Play L.A.! initiative will provide another important opportunity for Los Angeles to lead the way in play - today - tomorrow - into 2050 and beyond!

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

:

Shane's Inspiration owes the success of our programs in great part to the collaborative partners that we have been fortunate enough to have had through the years. Shane's Inspiration has always approached partnership with a win/win strategy which has yielded strong, loyal and long lasting relationships. We will work collaboratively with many partners on this initiative but will rely heavily on two key partnerships, one of which is the City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department. From the first project which opened in 2000, to the 30th and beyond, this partnership is at the foundation of the organization's success. This department will work very closely with Shane's Inspiration to support the success of our goals as all 50 events will take place at parks throughout the City of Los Angeles. The parks are managed and maintained by City staff so the contribution of this department will be substantial.

The other key to success of this project will be our partnership with schools. We have over 150 Los Angeles schools from which to draw from for the school aspect of the initiative. The programs we will offer to the schools will be free of charge and have been proven to be of substantial educational value to the students. We have been partnering with local schools for over 10 years and currently have a waiting list of schools who would like to participate in our programming opportunities.

Outreach and Community Event partners of Shane's Inspiration programs include the Exceptional Children's Foundation; Regional Centers; Disney; Wells Fargo Capital Finance; Seesaw Studios; Kiwanis; Newman Grace Inc.

Promoting this initiative will be key and our partners at Newman Grace Publishing will be featuring each step of this initiative in the Inspiring Play Magazine - www.inspiringplay.com. They will also use Google Ad Words to get the word out.

The three factors that are critical to the success of our proposed collaboration are:

Advanced planning with key partners;
Consistent and clear communication between all project partners;
Delivering on proposed goals and commitments.

We have a track record of success in these areas with our partners which provides a strong foundation for the roll out and successful implementation of this initiative. As with any new initiative, we anticipate hurdles as we navigate somewhat unfamiliar territory. Our confidence lies in the strength of our partnership history in overcoming obstacles.

How will your project impact the LA2050 "PLAY" metrics?

Access to open space and park facilities

Number of children enrolled in afterschool programs

Per capita crime rates

Percentage of residents that feel safe in their neighborhoods

Attendance at major league sporting events

Residents within 1⁄4 mile of a park (Dream Metric)

Number of residents with easy access to a “vibrant” park (Dream Metric)

Number of parks with intergenerational play opportunities (Dream Metric)

Number (and quality) of informal spaces for play (Dream Metric)

Other:

If other, please specify.:

Lowering obesity rates through active engagement opportunities

Please elaborate on how your project will impact the above metrics.:

Access to open space and park facilities: Together We Play L.A.! will utilize Shane's Inspiration's inclusive playgrounds throughout Los Angeles for all 50 events. There are currently 37 inclusive playgrounds to choose from which will serve a diverse L.A. community.

Per Capita Crime Rates: "Urban parks and playgrounds have many benefits. They fill the need for exercise, play, and contact with nature. They encourage residents to interact with one another and build “social capital,” the connections, trust, and sense of community investment that make neighborhoods work. Parks can increase the value of nearby homes, and if they're safe and well maintained, they reduce crime in the area."

Percentage of residents that feel safe in their neighborhoods: There will be five new community driven conceptual playground designs created through this initiative for new playgrounds to be built in L.A. Because these designs and projects are community driven, the stakeholders work hard to protect their investment of time, creativity and resources by ensuring that the children and families are safe from crime and violence. An increase in family attendance at parks has a direct effect on the decrease in crime, particularly when those families have been directly involved as community leaders in the park development.

Residents within 1/4 mile of the Park: This initiative will target community members that live within a close proximity to the park locations where the events will take place. Again, the more convenient the location, the higher likelihood of increased attendance and follow up usage.

Access to Vibrant Parks: Shane's Inspiration's goal is to create an inclusive playground within reach of every community. Our partnership with the City of Los Angeles will allow us to achieve this goal as we continually identify new park locations. This initiative will create five additional community driven designs that will provide five new communities with future access to a vibrant park.

Intergenerational Play: The inclusive playground designs take into account people of all ages and abilities. As one grandfather with a disability, said, "I missed playing in the park with my children. Because Shane's Inspiration builds to the spirit of the ADA law instead of the letter, I won't miss playing with my grandchildren."

Informal Spaces:The community events will feature informal play opportunities for all, reinventing our perception and utilization of parks

Please select which other LA2050 Goals are relevant to your project or organization (check all that apply):

LA is the best place to LEARN

LA is the best place to CREATE

LA is the best place to CONNECT

LA is the healthiest place to LIVE

Please explain how you will evaluate your project.

:

"It is not a question of patronizing philanthropy towards disabled people. It is not for them to adapt to the dominant and dominating world of the so-called non-disabled. It is for us to adapt our understanding of a common humanity; to learn of the richness of how human life is diverse; to recognize the presence of disability in our human midst as an enrichment of our diversity." Nelson Mandela

School Program: We will routinely measure attitudinal shifts in students via pre- and post-field trip written assessments, both of which typically will occur within one week’s time.

Prior to their field trips, students will be given a writing exercise that explores their thoughts on disabilities. Often, students will communicate that they are: fearful of people in wheelchairs; sad and believe people with disabilities are unable to live a fulfilling life; afraid of touching people with disabilities because they are contagious; and afraid of being hurt by them.

After experiencing the interactive field trip, students will be given an additional writing exercise that explores their perceptions after having been partnered with a child with a disability for a day of play. Written assessments after the field trips have revealed a major shift in perception. It is common to see students like Colin, a 4th grader in West Los Angeles, express the following shift in awareness: Prior to the Field Trip: "When I see someone with a disability I feel sad and a little freaked out that they are like that.” After the Field Trip: "After going on my field trip, I would want others to know that you shouldn't be scared of someone who is disabled." In one classroom of 5th graders, the words sad and bad were repeated 90 times in their written assessments. After their field trip, those same words were used only 19 times.

Assessments will be given to the educators participating in the program to gauge the educational value and impact of the program from their perspective.

Community attendance and engagement will be measured at each event, with attendees participating in video interviews regarding their perceptions of the program, their views on play as a vehicle to connect people and their ideas on promoting play in L.A.

Ultimately, our goal is to create an extraordinary year of play that can be presented to Nickelodeon for consideration as a featured segment in their Worldwide Day of Play coverage, positioning Los Angeles as a leader in intergenerational, inclusive play!

What two lessons have informed your solution or project?

:

DANGEROUS MISCONCEPTIONS DIVIDE US: When Shane's Inspiration opened the first playground in 2000, we were certain of the impact it would have on children with disabilities, most of whom would be playing in a playground for the very first time since traditionally designed playgrounds left them sitting on the sidelines. But what we didn't anticipate was the profound opportunity it would present to impact the perceptions of typically developing children and adults who may have never had the opportunity to know someone with a disability. We were told that children with disabilities were violent, contagious and didn't need to or weren't able to play. We realized the opportunity to bridge this divide and eliminate these harmful misconceptions was great and the programming aspect of our mission was born. The Together We Play L.A.! initiative will help us take this mission to a broader audience and include utilizing play as a bridge to dissolve barriers between races, cultures and generations.

ACCESSIBLE DOES NOT MEAN INCLUSIVE: The other important lesson we learned that has informed our initiative is that it isn't enough to simply design and build a fully inclusive play environment and expect it to immediately draw the intended diverse demographics. When we opened our first playground in 2000, it was met with rave reviews! According to the City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department, this playground is used three times as heavily as other playgrounds in the city. But what we realized was that it was mostly utilized by typically developing children. In order for us to create a true inclusive environment that drew a diverse usage population, programming would need to be created and implemented that accomplished the following: Providing a place where parents of children with disabilities could feel that their child was emotionally safe; Creating an environment of safe and age appropriate exploration for typically developing children regarding disabilities; Providing transportation since the schools often do not have a budget that provides for accessible bus transportation for field trips. Once this kind of programming is in place, the playground can be transformed into an outdoor classroom through the implementation of educational programs that bridge the gap between these diverse populations.

Explain how implementing your project within the next twelve months is an achievable goal.

:

Implementing the Together We Play L.A.! initiative in the next 12 months is achievable because Shane’s Inspiration will develop this project on the strong foundation of partnerships and programs that have been created over the last 16 years. By combining the resources generously provided by LA 2050 with these three key component partnerships: Parks; Schools; and Community; we feel confident that the initiative would be a great success.

1. Parks. Shane’s Inspiration has designed and developed 37 inclusive playgrounds in the County of Los Angeles, 30 of which were built in partnership with the City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department. Given this partnership, the city holds the distinction of being the most playable city in the world for people with disabilities, since these unique playgrounds are designed with a multigenerational approach to access. These playgrounds have won the “Best Playground Award” from L.A. Magazine, as well as Nickelodeon’s Parent’s Pick for Best Playground. All 50 events will utilize a Shane’s Inspiration, fully inclusive playground in a vibrant park community. Therefore, the locations for the play aspect of the initiative have been created and identified.

2. Schools: Shane’s Inspiration has partnered with over 150 schools in the Los Angeles community since 2002. In 2013, LAUSD partnered with Shane’s Inspiration to implement educational programming, as well as a professional development program that trains educators on creating inclusion on school campuses through play. The school partnerships necessary for the success of this initiative are in place.

3. Community Outreach. Shane’s Inspiration has established an extensive Community Outreach program in order to promote the initiative events to the public. We plan on utilizing these existing outreach mechanisms to promote the Together We Play L.A.! initiative to a large and diverse audience. These mechanisms include but are not limited to: schools; non-profit partners; regional centers; Best Start community partners; City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Dept.; City Councilmembers; newsletters; newspaper and radio partners; all means of social media; My Play Club families.

Please list at least two major barriers/challenges you anticipate. What is your strategy for ensuring a successful implementation?

:

#1 - Outreach: Shane's Inspiration anticipates outreach and engagement as a challenging opportunity for the community event aspect of this initiative. Los Angeles is a vast landscape comprised of thousands of communities. Drawing participation from cross sectors is often not easy. To overcome this challenge, we will once again rely heavily on our existing outreach mechanisms, partners, and advocates to help promote interest in the community events. We will also begin promoting the calendar of events far in advance in an effort to secure the dates in the community members' schedules. We will send out "Save The Date" alerts in substantial time prior to the events, as well as reminders a few days in advance. We will also get the events listed on several high traffic community calendar sites to help promote to a wider audience. We will engage the high profile supporters of Shane’s Inspiration in social media outreach to their followers, creating an endorsement of sorts which will help to increase interest and attendance. We will have an RSVP opportunity so that we can gauge interest, informing the need to increase outreach in advance if necessary.

#2 - Competing for an L.A. Audience – One of the wonderful aspects of Los Angeles is how culturally rich it is, providing Angelenos with multiple offerings on any given day. In this regard, any community event that you plan has to be competitively designed from an impact and entertainment value perspective. To that end, we will rely on our substantial entertainment related support base. We have been fortunate to have participation at prior events from representatives from the sports, film, television, music and arts world. Our goal is to have at least one high profile individual at each event, helping to garner attendance. Once in attendance, we are confident that our programming will offer an impactful, perception changing day for all involved.

#3 Creating a successful initiative that will continue to impact the community beyond its initial launch. To effectively accomplish this, it will require considerable stakeholder involvement strategies. The communities will not only need to engage, but will also need to be instrumental in the development and implementation of this initiative. If the community members become key players, it will create a sense of pride, ownership and accomplishment. In this regard we will be creating the larger "team" necessary to ensure on-going success.

What resources does your project need? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)

Education/training

Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Discussion
157 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

a lot of gongrats for your organization. Cause all children,in the world, deserve to be happy ..

by paolak2
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration is an INSPIRATION! As a health and fitness professional I whole-heartedly agree and am excited by the opportunities and programs that SI is developing for all families. From inclusion to play and fitness, the whole family can be involved and spend more quality time together outdoors and in a healthy and safe environment. Congratulations and keep up the good work!

by marcie.booth
over 1 year ago

Most people think about kids with disabilities at Shane's playgrounds, but the first time I went, I saw a grandfather in a wheelchair playing side by side with his grandson. It was POWERFUL! I've been a supporter ever since.

Another great opportunity is when local schools do their playdates at Shane's Playgrounds. Able bodied high school students are forever changed after a day at the playground with kid of different abilities.

God bless Shane's Inspiration!

by ProfBrian
over 1 year ago

We've been a part of Shane's Inspiration since it's inception and believe that the world is a much better place because of this incredible organization! Thanks to everyone at Shane's.

by execfilm
over 1 year ago

My son, Spencer was born with a very rare genetic disorder. At seven years old, it was necessary to amputate both his legs above the knee. He has loved Shane's club playgrounds since he was a baby. There is a comfort as a parent knowing that Shane's will always have a place where he can play. Thank you Shane's! I hope you win this grant!

by coburnhawk
over 1 year ago

A great organization out to make the world a better place, one playground at a time!

by mostx
over 1 year ago

I have been a supporter and contributor to Shane's Inspiration for years. It has both meaning and meaningful outcomes. Wonderful, caring well run organization.

by steve.heisler.94
over 1 year ago

I grew up playing on Shane's Inspiration playgrounds. Love them!

by lildogg220
over 1 year ago

Great Playgrounds! My kids grew up at Shane's Inspiration at Griffith Park. It's an amazing playground where they have played for hours. It also has opened the eyes of my kids as well as mine that this park put so much thought into play for everyone of all abilities, young and old. We need more playgrounds like this.

by cueball
over 1 year ago

I have taken my grandchildren to Shane's Inspiration playgrounds and have been so touched to see them be able to play side by side with children of differing abilities. We just happened to be at Aidan's Place when they were having a Shane's Club event. My 3 grandchildren were invited to participate and they jumped right in. It was a wonderful experience for everyone and it really taught them compassion for kids with challenges. Thank you so much Shane's Inspiration.

by sydroo2
over 1 year ago

I'm impressed with the humanity of this project, and even more so by the people supporting it. We are of all ages, races, abilities and income-level. We are all united by our fond memories of growing up, unencumbered by physical limitations, and the ability for enrichment that only a playground, field, park, or cul-de-sac can provide. It seems heartless to think that a wheelchair or forearm crutch could rob a young person of that experience. Here’s hoping that this project finds broad base support, and significant financial backing.

by steve.weprin
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration is an incredible organization that provides integrated playgrounds where children of all abilities can PLAY TOGETHER! They are unique, because children have the opportunity to focus on FUN, instead of their differences or disabilities. Play on, Shane's!

by RLLTYDRLL
over 1 year ago

The education component of the Shane's Inspiration mission is equally important as the playgrounds themselves. Kids (and their adult companions) often need a helping hand to guide their first interactions with their disabled peers. Once that first step is taken...PLAY comes so naturally.

by TamaraHatwan
over 1 year ago

This is a beautiful organization, keep up the good work! I'm happy to put support behind such wonderful people making the world a more nurturing and cohesive world.

by kateezyb
over 1 year ago

What a wonderful organization. I wasn't aware of Shane's until a friend of mine became involved. Who wouldn't get excited about this! Every child loves to play and with the help of Shane's, now many more children can! My hats off to this organization.

by NatDob
over 1 year ago

This is such a worthwhile non-profit organization that continues to grow in the most positive ways, but they are in dire need of financial help to accomplish their noble mission!

by LauraPattersonLA
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration is changing the way children think about their classmates with disabilities. Their education program is the answer to an issue that desparately needs to be addressed. Rick K

by spinchain
over 1 year ago

This worthy project started as a grass-roots project of a single family, and has grown into the global effort it is today. If that's not a Hollywood success story about dreams coming true, I don't know what is. Shane's Inspiration represents the very best of L.A., and deserves to be recognized as the treasure it is.

by kentshocknek
over 1 year ago

Thanks to parents, volunteers, donors, civic leaders and many more, there are dozens and dozens of Shane's Inspiration playgrounds in the world for 21st Century kids to enjoy. We are leaving a better place for our kids and grandchildren's childhoods thanks to Shane's Inspiration accessible, FUN playgrounds!

by DWC1
over 1 year ago

Love this idea! Best of luck!

by Mrs4ea
over 1 year ago

Wonderful new playgrounds are being created in our communities...awesome!.

by summer12345
over 1 year ago

Great playgrounds for EVERYONE TO PLAY! Love this idea!

by simonsays
over 1 year ago

Fantastic organization and mission!!

It is beautiful and fully-inclusive. The play dates they do are wonderful too - very powerful days where kids get to see beyond their differences.

by hll2
over 1 year ago

When I was at primary school there was a boy in my year who had Muscular Dystrophy. His was progressive and overtime his wheelchair skills lessened. The teachers who were by no means experts, did their best to explain Christopher's limits, and we kids would include Christopher when we could. Bizarrely, we just did this. Kids are kids, and just want to play. Sadly, lack of facilities meant our play was limited to more 'quiet' play activities during school and out of school just didn't exist. If there had been a Shane's playground we would have bonded far more with Christopher. And he could have experienced a more fulfilling childhood.

Shane's is truly an inclusive organization which benefits the whole community. Every child should have a safe place to play and every parent should have the opportunity to see how their child not only enjoys play but also thrives through it. The Shane playgrounds of today will keep on giving as lessons learnt through interaction are carried into adulthood.

I wish them well on their endeavors to open minds and doors.

by LisaAnn
over 1 year ago

Several members of our church, Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church, have had the opportunity to volunteer at events where we can see the joy and excitement of the children who play in the beautifully designed playgrounds. What a first rate organization! We will continue to volunteer and support Shane's Inspiration gladly.

by rhodzimm
over 1 year ago

Point blank: Play is vital during childhood! By making playgrounds accessible to children of all abilities, Shane's Inspiration is leveling the playing field, literally and figuratively.

I'm so glad I discovered this amazing initiative and hope we can all continue to support it!

by shanwep
over 1 year ago

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” -Plato

There was nothing more gratifying than being able to play hide and seek on the playground with my two little friends: one running and one rolling. I met these two little ladies as a volunteer at the playground in Griffith Park and was fortunate enough to witness the independence and inclusion Shane's playgrounds provide. Freedom, it's the ultimate gift kids get when they come here. Freedom from restrictions, from judgement and from exclusion. It also didn't hurt that I as an overgrown 18 year old kid was able to play and thoroughly enjoy myself with my two new 7 year olds friends! Go Shane's!!!

by omono692
over 1 year ago

About 10 years ago, I brought my nephew to a Shane's Inspiration play date. At other playgrounds, we would have to carry him through the sand or woodchips, lift him onto the play structure, and then hover over him to make sure he didn't fall.

The day we came to Shane's Inspiration was life-altering. I had watched his parents fight for his right to be treated as an equal to his typically able peers, fend off the open-mouthed stares from adults, and explain as simply as possible what his syndrome was.

At the Shane's Inspiration playground, he became independent because everything was not only accessible, but stimulating. I sat back, tears in my eyes, as I watched him climb the apparatus without assistance. A father -a stranger at the time- walked over and saw the streams of tears running down my cheeks and the goofy smile on my face and said, " First time here?" I replied "yes." Then he sat down next to me and told me, "welcome home."

That is the power of Shane's Inspiration, that is the power of inclusion.

by MamaTess
over 1 year ago

A baby playgroup friend recommended Shane's Inspiration as a great place for our then crawling, standing, stepping babies to play in safely. The rubberized surfaces were easy on little knees. Later, as she grew, we came to know Shane's Inspiration playground as a place for ALL children to play in with joy equally. It's been a blessing in our family to have Shane's Inspiration as part of our daughter's childhood.

by DWC1
over 1 year ago

Growing up I never even considered that playing on the playground just isn't an option for some children with disabilities. Ever since I was introduced Shane's Inspiration, I've been shouting the need for inclusive, accessible play & playgrounds from the rooftops! Not only are the playgrounds they build and the message they spread INCREDIBLY useful and necessary––They are by far the COOLEST playgrounds I've ever seen. Seeing children of all abilities playing together on the playgrounds and actually watching the shift in the mindset of children towards others with disabilities is beautiful. It's such an wonderful thing to see something as simple as play being able to bridge the gap and really emphasize how beneficial PLAY is!

YOU ROCK SHANE'S INSPIRATION!

by TarynG
over 1 year ago

Playing with my eight grandchildren is one of the greatest joys in life for me. Even though I miss playing ball with them, since my paralyzed hands limit me from gripping and throwing a ball, Shane’s Inspiration has given me the opportunity to play with them by following my young grandchildren as I guide my motorized wheelchair right up on the universal play structures. We have such fun!

These wheelchair accessible play structures give me an expanded new arena for playing with my grandchildren.

During the LA City Council hearings for the first Shane’s Inspiration playground in Griffith Park, I testified telling my story of my need for wheelchair accessible intergenerational playgrounds and how much it would mean to me and other grandparents like me over the years. The Council committee chaired by Councilman Feuer seemed to listen and relate to my needs for accessible intergenerational playgrounds. And the City Council was moved to provide the land for the first Shane’s Inspiration playground.

This public and private partnership continues to provide the public with these much needed facilities.

by grandpaof8
over 1 year ago

What a joy it has been to see Shane’s Inspiration develop into such a far-reaching, impactful set of playgrounds and programs! Over fifty years ago, as a teenager, I began babysitting children with disabilities. Although I always tried to engage them in activities to expand their horizons, there were certainly no playgrounds we could visit where they could interact with other children or enjoy the freedom of play that Shane’s Inspiration offers! Fast forward to today, and I have seen first-hand the wonderful benefits that are available to children of all abilities – and to families, where parents and grandparents with limited mobility can accompany their children on the playground at Shane’s Inspiration sites.

An additional delight to me has been observing my grandchildren spending hours at home designing accessible play environments with blocks, following trips to Shane’s Inspiration playgrounds. Maybe one of them will become an architect or other creative designer of the next generation! The benefits don’t stop when people walk – or roll – away from the playgrounds. Creativity, inspiration, compassion, openness and accommodation for others of differing abilities all take root and flourish.

May Shane’s Inspiration continue to expand its reach so that more families can experience its positive influence in our communities.

by DorothyW
over 1 year ago

As the mother of three differently-abled children, it was always challenging to find a place for them to play together that would meet each of their unique needs. With one child in a wheelchair, one in a walker, and one always racing ahead, Shane's Inspiration playgrounds were one of the few places that our family could go to find something for everyone. My children could find playmates that were like themselves, and like their brothers, and we could spend time with families as diverse as our own. We were lucky to have the benefit of Shane's Inspiration in our community. I am thrilled that more communities will potentially have the same good fortune to encourage all our children to play together and learn from each other!

by TamaraHatwan
over 1 year ago

It's a simple equation: Shane's Inspiration = Smiles!

by mikemetzler
over 1 year ago

This is a fantastic organization and the work they do is inspiring!

by kellybashar
over 1 year ago

Teaching kids to embrace differences and giving them the opportunity to expand their experiences is one sure way to make the world a better place!

by parisa
over 1 year ago

I have been involved with this amazing organization from the beginning when they had a dream to build an accessible playground in Griffith Park! Their simple and profound mission has grown to an incredible extent, and they should have the opportunity to grow even further!

by LauraPattersonLA
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration is such an important learning tool, not just for children but for adults as well. Education dispels myths, mind-sets and preconceived ideas about people who look or act differently than we do. This amazing organization levels the "playing" field.

by sherry.hazelton1
over 1 year ago

As a Paralympic Gold medallist athlete, I know first hand how profoundly sport has positively effected my life. It's not always "fun" to use a wheelchair, but if you can get back in the game, experience life through something as fundamental as play, you can express and discover who you are. The Shane's Inspiration Playgrounds are not only an incredibly cool architectural contribution to any community, they stand for a place where everyone in the community can gather together, barrier free and PLAY! Every child deserves the fundamental right to play, if they are sidelined by a lack of access the world misses out on who they are. It has happened to me, watching my niece and nephew, I simply took them to our local park in UT. The playground itself was step down into wood chips, I could not access the jungle gym or slide and therefore I was not able to effectively "watch" my niece and nephew. All parents and children deserve access to our shared community playgrounds. Shane's Inspiration has shown how easily and artfully that can be achieved. It is a gold medal win for any community to have a Shane's Inspiration Playground.

by stephanivictor
over 1 year ago

What they do is amazing, giving all children the same opportunities to play and to provide the space where the kids can see each other as equal individuals regardless of their abilities. Thank you Shane's Inspiration for what you do for our kids, our communities and ultimately our world.

by shadi
over 1 year ago

Play is at the very core of our humanity and when we play together, we are not only happy but also healing the differences that keep us apart.

"Remember to play after every storm!"
-- Mattie Stepanik

by Earthling99
over 1 year ago

what is more pure than to dedicate your time on this earth to giving kids of all abilities the chance to play with one another on a playground without physical barriers. wheel chair accessibility, back supports on swings, sound walls. what Shane's Inspiration is doing is just amazing, and oh so magical.

by patricio.diaz.1962
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration is such a wonderful place. I have been involved with the organization since it began, and now as my husband and I are expecting our first child, we will be using the parks even more. I've seen first hand the wonderful things that happen at the Shane's Inspiration parks - breaking down social barriers between children, teaching acceptance and curiosity instead of judgment. Not only are these parks wonderful places for everyone to play, they are an incredible place to actively teach our children acceptance and respect for everyone.

by jensalute
over 1 year ago

What an amazing organization that does so so so much good for every community that it touches. My family and I have been deeply touched by this organization and the amazing people at the heart of it.

by shawnaaaa
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration is a great organization that's all about play and creating spaces for everyone to do just that. I was drawn to this organization by the people involved and their passion in creating playgrounds that are accessible and changing perspectives. For me playgrounds was where my imagination grew as a kid and to be able to volunteer and assist Shane's Inspiration has been a fulfilling experience. And really, who doesn't love to play!?!

by aynvaughan
over 1 year ago

We are a family comprised of children who are both physically disabled and non-physically disabled. Our family loves the flexibility an accessible park offers to the children. Shane's Inspiration and Aiden's Place are two places where the whole family can play together. We appreciate this opportunity so much that we drive in from Orange County (about a hour each way) just to play at the park! Our family also appreciates the monthly playdates set-up by the foundation. These scheduled playdates add a little extra fun with a chance to meet new people and, more importantly, play with new friends!

by annbelles
over 1 year ago

I have been honored to volunteer at Shane's Inspiration's annual Walk and Roll event at Griffith Park here
in Los Angeles. I am continually amazed and inspired by the throngs of happy kids coming out for this
event that celebrates children and families of challenged children. The growing numbers of participants
in this event and the community participation shows me that Shane's Inspiration is such an important organization. I recently took both my grandchildren to a Shane's playground near our house and they were more than delighted with the unique equipment and they forgot that the weather was approaching the 90's!
Linda Fitzgerald

by Lindafitzgerald11
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration is an amazing organization. My family and I have worked with them for nearly 15 years. Their parks bring kids of all ages and abilities together playing side by side. They have such passion for what they do and it shows in the beautiful parks they create and the many heartfelt programs as well. We feel very blessed to be a part of it. - The Deakins Family

by joni.hunterdeakins
over 1 year ago

I am an occupational therapist working with children. Shane's has provided many of my clients with an opportunity to play with other children that they would not have had otherwise. It has been a true blessing for many parents who simply want to take their children to the park to play. These playgrounds bring much joy to families.
I

by cheryl.hubert.92
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration playgrounds provide a wonderful and safe place for children to play. All children, regardless of ability, should have the opportunity to play and have fun outside.These playgrounds allow this.

by adrianne.dunn
over 1 year ago

My children and I have had the pleasure of enjoying several Shane's Inspiration playgrounds and we always have an amazing time and leave in awe of the special experience that is provided to abled bodied children and those with special challenges as well. I must admit, I have an extra special affinity for the new splash pad at mason park and would love to see my splash pads! Well done, Shane's! Keep up the amazing work! You bring such joy to so many children and families!!

by Combes
over 1 year ago

I love our Shane's inspiration playground, recently built right around the corner from our home in Valley Glen. All three of my kids, including my "cool" eldest child who's 12, enjoy it. Keep up the good work!

by linda.hulne
over 1 year ago

Such a positive force in our community! Thanks Shane's Inspiration for all the good work you are doing!

by karen.essa
over 1 year ago

It is a program that builds self esteem and forges lasting relationships between groups that would normally not be connected with each other. It does it in a powerful loving way through play.

by flying
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration has been fulfilling it's mission of inclusiveness and helping to break down barriers through play for fourteen years. They have brought families and communities together throughout North America and all over the globe through programs and playgrounds that build understanding and friendship. With each passing year Shane's Inspiration fulfills its mission with love and inspiration!

by bari.borsky
over 1 year ago

Inclusive playgrounds for all! Shane's Inspiration is so full of heart and love of communities, bringing family and friends together to experience happiness on the playground no matter what their abilities or challenges! Thank You Shanes's Inspiration!

by heylomusic
over 1 year ago

Shane's playgrounds give all children regardless of their abilities the opportunity to learn and play together. It is a priceless gift that helps develop understanding and compassion for our community today and into the future.

by sheila.swanson
over 1 year ago

My 8th grade son had an opportunity to play with, and assist, a special needs boy in the Balboa Park Shane's Inspiration Playground last year and it was an amazing experience that he will never forget! What a beautiful thing Shane's Inspiration is doing for special needs children and abled bodied children alike! We look forward to the day when every community across the US will have a Shane's Inspiration Playground for all of its children to enjoy!

by patti.corsiglia
over 1 year ago

Shane’s Inspiration inclusive playgrounds are awesome! It's great to see all the children play together and it teaches them see everyone equally. Great Organization!

by mrhernandez1977
over 1 year ago

Love all the unique play structures Shane's install in each playground. They should be the pride of our city.

by HappyinLA
over 1 year ago

I've had the privilege of working with Shane's Inspiration for a number of years through my work, and we feel honored to be affiliated with an organization with such an extraordinary mission. The team that makes up Shane's is dedicated and passionate. I have seen their "Together We Are Able" education program in action though my daughters' participation. I witnessed the team from Shane's work their magic and watched my girls reach a new level of compassion and understanding towards their peers. It is an experience that they will never forget - and the reason that I personally want to be involved with this gem of an organization!

by DorotheaS
over 1 year ago

Shanes Inspiration has an important vision and it's so simple but not easy to accomplish. They want to have universal access parks available to all. The staff has been in place for many years and they are the most hard working bunch I've met. Building parks that make it so you can't get injured or have access if you are in a wheelchair is more than just play.... they are raising the bar and making something as basic as joy, play and fun available to all. Support this worthwhile group---please alyse hart

by alysehc
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration is a wonderful organization with an incredible mission of making kids feel "just like me" in a safe, loving, playful atmosphere. They are truly earth angels!

by Sharievg
over 1 year ago

I have been involved with Shane's Inspiration since their inception and they are the most dedicated group of individuals I have ever been involved with. The things they have accomplished, much of the time under extremely difficult circumstances is a tribute to their resolve to have Los Angeles become the most Universally Accessible city in the world.

by MasqueMan
over 1 year ago

I love Shane's Inspiration. They are an amazing organization.Beautiful play grounds. And I feel so honored to have my father work for them .

by Jenn26
over 1 year ago

Thank you Shane's Inspiration for providing the world with playgrounds for kids and adults who have a wide variety of differing abilities the opportunity to play together on the same turf...giving every child an equal opportunity and the feeling that they are no different than any other child. I have personally experienced first hand your elementary school "Together, We Are Able" program and felt the impact I know it must have on the children let alone the memories they will have for a lifetime. Good luck with your grant request. You deserve it but more important, the children deserve it!

by JackMoran
over 1 year ago

In one of the largest cities in the world, Shane's Inspiration is focusing on what really matters to kids (and their parents) -- getting outside and playing with other children in a safe environment. It has been a unique and extraordinary opportunity for my daughters to meet and work with kids with disabilities, and we look forward to participating in every park event that we can. My youngest daughter has enjoyed this group so much that her college essay will be written about it and she's been volunteering there all summer. This group is making a significant difference in our community, through volunteers, students, community groups and families. We can't wait for the next get together.

by joanne.h.drake
over 1 year ago

I was lucky to be at one of their playgrounds when there were both kids with disabilities and kids without, playing side by side. One mother told me this was the first time her child (with a disability) ever came to a playground. In the past they just weren't accessible for him. And this isn't just a case of ramps. Most of the equipment is uniquely designed so that kids with disabilities can enjoy the entire playground. What a tremendous contribution to kids with disabilities who are unable to play on regular playgrounds.

by Mrproducer
over 1 year ago

I would love a safe neighborhood to play at without worry. I have played at a Shane's Inspiration playground and I can say without doubt that I have never before felt so safe, secure, and confident.

by lhyde1
over 1 year ago

Shane’s Inspiration is making a big difference in our world. Playing is imperative for every human being. It is just as pivotal for adults as it is for kids. Play brings joy. And it’s vital for problem solving, creativity and relationships. Shane’s inspiration is making that possible for all.
On a personal note, when i was told my unborn baby was going to be severely disabled, my friend's at Shane’s reached out ready to help with any of my baby’s and family’s needs. When my daughter was born healthy, I knew I still wanted to be a part of such a special place. Thank you Shane’s for bringing easy, accessible, joy for all!

by LeighKoechner
over 1 year ago

Every child in our world deserves to spend a day laughing at the park with their friends, family, and new kids they meet while there. Through Shane's Inspiration, children who never thought they could leave the house again, have the ability to go and enjoy the community, meet new friends, learn life skills, and just have an amazing day. Everyone at Shane's works so hard to fight for these children who don't always have a voice in the community and are truly dedicated to their work. They teach a lesson that EVERY child needs to learn at a young age, whether disabled or able-bodied, of community and treating everyone the way they want to be treated- with respect and love. These playgrounds are more than just playgrounds- they're hope, strength, and inspiration.

by drakedanielle3
over 1 year ago

Brilliant work by everyone at Shane's Inspiration! They'd put that grant to the best possible use! Their parks and programs are a means to a better world!

by kitcat4950
over 1 year ago

One of the unexpected things I've witnessed at Shane's Inspiration playgrounds is a number of disabled parents and grandparents getting to play with their able-bodied children and grandchildren. These parks are a revelation! Thank you to the wonderful women and men at Shane's Inspiration, who work tirelessly for the right of equal play for all people of ALL ages.

by kitcat4950
over 1 year ago

I so hope Shane's Inspiration is awarded his funding. These Together We Play events will unite kids with typical abilities and kids with disabilities, and through outreach, they'll enhance life in the communities of Los Angeles!

by DahliaG
over 1 year ago

I have been a volunteer with many organizations over the last 45 years, and after 10 years with Shane's Inspiration, I know first hand that they exemplify what an organization should aspire to be. They are an amazing group of men and women dedicated to improving the lives of all children by fostering universal concepts such as inclusiveness, sharing and accessibility. In a world currently exhibiting such a lack of unity, Shane's shines as a beacon to all ~ let's teach our children that together we play, together we are able and together we thrive! The children are our future and Shane's is elevating their lives, and ours, one playground at a time.,

by AceW
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration is a unique organization that does almost as much for typically abled children as the disabled children it aims to serve. Shane's goes beyond providing a safe place for children to play by actually helping to shape the ideas and understanding of young children around the world. Shane's gives me hope that the world I will bring my future children into will be one where children of all races, religions and abilities can play together with a greater understanding that while we are not all the same, we can all work together, live together and play together. I am honored to be a small part of this great organization and to know the incredible and dedicated people who have taken Shane's Inspiration from an idea about social change to a multinational organization. I am so excited for the future of Shane's, and I cannot even imagine the number of lives this organization will continue to touch. Thanks Shane's Inspiration.

by mollywessel
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration does such wonderful work for kids of all abilities and really helps to lay the foundation for higher self worth and understanding in people of all ages. Something as simple as a playground fostered in equality can really help everybody to gain a better sense of self, gratitude and joy that lasts their entire life and can be shared with their entire family.

by shayna.band
over 1 year ago

This is fantastic! It's always so amazing to see people stand together for a very worthy cause.

by shay.li.3
over 1 year ago

It is incredible how many "avenues" Shane's Inspiration has opened here in L.A., as well as other states and countries, not only for children with disabilities and their families but for all children and adults. They are truly touching lives and making a difference. It is important for children -- ALL CHILDREN -- to be able to play, exercise and socialize which is happening through the Work of Shane's Inspiration. Besides providing the facility for this to happen, their educational programs are providing the opportunity and supporting the effort for "universal play." Through our partnership with Shane's Inspiration 150 high school juniors have the chance to "buddy up" with children with disabilities for quality time and play -- I'm not sure how benefits more through these experiences... the children or our high school students.

by NotreDameImmersion
over 1 year ago

I have had the pleasure of being involved with Shane's Inspiration for the last 3 years. I am a pediatric nurse who deals with all types of children. What Shane's has given these children with disabilities is a true blessing. What is more important here is how children without disabilities interact with the children with disabilities. All children love a playground, and Shane's has given every child that opportunity.

by matsma
over 1 year ago

My husband and I have been involved with Shane's Inspiration for 8+ years helping to raise money and attending events during the year. I was so inspired by the work they do that 8 months ago I became a volunteer. Seeing the difference a playground can make to a child with physical or mental challenges is truly heartwarming. For them doing what many of us take for granted is proof of the joy Shane's Inspiration brings to these children. Furthermore, these playgrounds teach children of all abilities that we are not so different.

by dee.stajcer
over 1 year ago

Amazing people doing amazing work. Faith in humanity restored.

by Langtim
over 1 year ago

I've been involved with Shane's for 12 years now. My daughter's issue with textures first led me to the wonderful BOUNCY surfaces all the Shane's parks are made with. The care and love that go into each of these parks is unbelievable. But what is more amazing are the wonderful programs that Shane's takes into the local schools to help show the able body kids that they really are no different than our disabled kids. They then make it possible for the two groups to play together.

by jessimom
over 1 year ago

The work that Shane's Inspiration does is truly remarkable for the children who are the beneficiaries of the playgrounds and the educational tools they provide. The people behind Shane's Inspiration are smart, hard-working and selfless and we should all support their vision!

by EasyPar
over 1 year ago

I've been apart of Shane's for 14 years and growing up on those playgrounds are experiences and memories that are unforgettable. Shane's is an amazing non profit and I am so happy and honored to have been apart of it all these years. It allowed my friends and I to played with children with disabilities and experience their journey. It made me see that we are not all that different after all, we are children who want to play. Thanks Shane's Inspiration! :)

by Budlight
over 1 year ago

Couldn't imagine a world without Shane's Inspiration. Allowing all kids to play together and allowing parents to play with their kids no matter who may or may not have disabilities!

by debie.marsden
over 1 year ago

Over the years, I have frequently visited the Shane's Inspiration playground at Griffith Park with my children and we have also been there at the same time as a group of children with disabilities. It was great to see those children having the opportunity, despite their daily challenges, to just be kids and have some fun. My own children benefited from the experience and came to appreciate that these children were kids just like them. Shane's Inspiration is doing an exceptional job of breaking down barriers and promoting inclusion.

by mars6
over 1 year ago

Inclusion is putting our arms around a problem. Exclusion is throwing our hands up in defeat. Let's win this battle for our children.

by taweitzel
over 1 year ago

The bond this non profit creates thru play with able bodied and disable children is unrivaled and one of a kind.

by Nicovilgiate
over 1 year ago

Can't imagine a more worthy organization, or one more near and dear to our hearts. Inclusion has to start somewhere, and what a fun place to begin . . . the playground.

by allison.buchner
over 1 year ago

I was at a park one day when Shane's brought a group of kids with disabilities and paired them with peers without disabilities and let them play on their "all inclusive" play structure. It was an inspiring sight to watch the friendships made among children who would ordinarily never interact. One of the counselors told me it was part of Shane's Education program to teach regular elementary school children about what it means to have a disability. Truly inspiring work.

by Habakuk
over 1 year ago

Fantastic group of hard working people. Shane's Inspiration enables all children the opportunity to enjoy their wonderful playgrounds! The only thing they can do better is be in more parks.

by mikef
over 1 year ago

I have volunteered for Shane's Inspiration fundraising events because it's easy to believe in their mission and to be inspired by their successes. I am continually impressed with the women who run this organization. They are so committed to the goal of uniting and educating all people through play. These women are also smart, experienced, and savvy - this allows them to make the most of every dollar entrusted to their care. Please fund this project, Shane's history demonstrates that they will amaze, inspire, and make a big difference with this valuable resource. Thank you.

by Suzbear
over 1 year ago

Shane's is an amazing organization run by remarkable people. The playgrounds are fun for all children and allow for all children to play equally...how amazing is that!! Keep up the amazing work you do!!!

by temf
over 1 year ago

Great family and well run organization!

by pjonke
over 1 year ago

Such an important and worthwhile organization. These playgrounds lay the foundation for so many children to learn inclusiveness.

by kbardavid
over 1 year ago

It is an amazing experience for all children to play equally...God Bless Shane's Inspiration! Please fund this project!

by debra.caridi
over 1 year ago

God bless the people @ Shane's Inspiration & the work that you do!

by d.thompson.9066389
over 1 year ago

These amazing playgrounds allow all kids to play equally - which is a wonderful thing to witness. A great project with a big heart and purpose.

by brunerrob
over 1 year ago

Our son Spencer has only known inclusion due to these playgrounds. We started visiting the playgrounds when he was 2 years old and he is now in the 8th grade. They are wonderful accessible playgrounds, and have allowed our son to be able to play with and next to his typically abled peers and younger brother. Our son uses a wheelchair most of the time and he doesn't have to stay out of the sand or on the sidelines at a Shane's inspiration playground. Our friends with kids with no disabilities prefer the Shane's Inspiration playgrounds for their kids ,they say "they are better designed playgrounds than the typical neighborhood playground". Last thing I will say is Shane's Inspiration has created and executed an education program for elementary kids to learn about differences and inclusion. For my family this is the most important part of the puzzle - educating the young generation about the power and importance of accepting all peers (and differences) and including all peers in our lives. Our family's hope is that Shane's Inspiration playgrounds and education programs become the norm for playgrounds, schools, and communities in this country and around the world. Play and acceptance for all!

by jennhawkpowell
over 1 year ago

As a pediatric physical therapist for four decades i have worked to provide all children with disabilities with the acumen to "have fun". Shane's Inspiration offers the place to do that and more. Children of all abilities can enjoy and thrive at any of the 50+ playgrounds that have been built under the guidance of Shane's Inspiration. All "new" playground construction can take a lesson from this incredible organization and it would spread the smiles that anyone visiting one of these playgrounds gets to experience!!

by jakeyj98
over 1 year ago

I love all of the playground themes! I have been to about twelve different playgrounds and they are all so unique and creative!

by Bugsman
over 1 year ago

I participated in the education program with Shane's this past year and it was very meaningful to my class to have the opportunity to play with all those wonderful children on those exquisite playgrounds.

by brittani1025
over 1 year ago

I volunteer at the play dates Shane's Inspiration organizes at their amazing playgrounds. These events are a testament to the effectiveness of their mission and vision of a world where all children can participate in that most elemental activity of play. The staff and volunteers reach out with accepting and loving kindness to the families who are able -sometimes for the first time - to bring their children of all abilities to an inclusive environment filled with activities and entertainment centered around the concept of play. What a joy it is to see these families and children interacting with no barriers to the fun. I cannot imagine a more worthy organization than Shane's Inspiration to receive this award.

by kailamakolia
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration is a one of a kind organization. All children benefit from an inclusive play area. In a joyful environment, children can learn to respect each other without regard to differences.

by HBSMITH
over 1 year ago

I have been aware and loved Shane's inspiration for years. The playgrounds are innovative and inclusive. My favorite part of being at any Shane's playground is seeing children of all abilities interact without a second thought. They just play. And isn't that what children of all ages do. Life should be filled with play

by Carratbond
over 1 year ago

The people at Shane's Inspiration are nothing short of visionary, much like the people who foresaw the need for New York City's Central Park. As the proud uncle of a niece with Prader-Willie's Syndrome, I am grateful for the efforts of Shane's Inspiration to bring children of all abilities together.

by lanecheney
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration is a remarkable organization led by remarkable people. Their honesty, integrity, ethics and sense of joy as they help children all over the world is unmatched.
Shane's Inspiration has fostered true relationships between able bodied and disabled children and has given all children a place to play.
Shane's Inspiration...remarkable!

by joanryan
over 1 year ago

Someone in the video said that a playground is a microcosm of the world at large. To see the ease with which these kids play together is inspiring.and a reminder that, at heart, we are all the same .I've just read an article about documented evidence of 'free-play' showing that one of it's greatest values is supporting children in developing "pro-social" brains that teach kids how to interact with others in positive ways. Shane's Inspiration underscores that by bringing families of disabled and able-bodied children together in joyful ways that erase the focus on "differences". What a world it will be when we can stop seeing people as "other" and start seeing our sameness. Kudos to Shane's for it's remarkable contribution to contributing to that possibility. The impact of the awareness they foster with their inclusion of all is powerful. Happy children. Happy Parents. Happy families. The world needs more joy. Play On!!!!

by pattycake1
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration has inspired so many in Los Angeles and across the country. As an educator, I have seen first hand the positive impact this organization has on young adults. Through Shane's Inspiration videos students learn how something as everyday as a playground can mean the world to a child. They also learn to look beyond their world and into the lives of others around them. We at the small college try to raise money for Shane's Inspiration but its hard for students struggling to pay for college to give so we are writing to you now asking for you to give. The students give what they can but you can give so much more and we hope that you will. Shane's Inspiration impacts all of our children, young and old.

by Chrissy.Guest
over 1 year ago

What a touching video! My son has Spina Bifida and we would have loved to have had a completely accessible park for him to play at close to home. When we have gone to a Shane's inspiration park he's had the time off his life going on everything!

by hengly.guerra
over 1 year ago

What an amazing and worthy concept! There are so many unnecessary obstacles for the average disabled person. I am able-bodied, and it's frustrating for me when my disabled friends can't join me in an activity I love and want to share with them. I love the idea of removing obstacles and boundaries at a young age so more disabled and able-bodied people can spend time together. .

by gemstorm16
over 1 year ago

When our son was a baby and all through his elementary years, the playgrounds were a weekly if not daily, "must do". The park we (our son) like the best was the Shane's Inspiration park in Griffith Park. I mean once you realize what it is all about, you get it. And you can't believe this wasn't done before. It is Brilliant!!! Brilliant and simple. Kids love other kids and are not judgmental They take everything for what it is....so playing with a friend who may have better or different abilities than them, means nothing. It's all about the companionship. They are all about the things they have in common, not the things that are different. .And isn't that the way it should be? We support the campaign to make all parks playable for all kids.

by mikenval
over 1 year ago

Please fund this important project. It already has been a great benefit to the two daughters of my friend; both girls have disabilities, and both have been using, enjoying, and benefitting from the Shane's Inspiration playground for 10 years. It's important! Thanks!

by sophelet
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration is the greatest organization! As the parents of a five-year-old girl, we've seen first hand the joys and benefits of bringing able-bodied and disabled kids together in one playground. We have personally watched our daughter play with children who, otherwise, would have struggled to keep up in another play area. It brings happiness to our hearts and our lives to see the good work of Shane's Inspiration find a global stage. The rest of the planet is finally finding out what we've known all along - Shane's Inspiration is one of the most unique and important organizations on earth! While all charities deserve to be recognized, we believe Shane's Inspiration stands above the rest and deserves to win this contest!!

by ethan.lawrence
over 1 year ago

Shane's inspiration is a great organization. Shane's inspiration gives children the gift of a play setting, which allows children to come together and play.

by denisse.galvez.12
over 1 year ago

I love Shane's Inspiration!. it is a non-profit where you can see the results of your donations in the playgrounds the organization has built. You can see the hard work that the founders and staff put into it every day. I personally have worked with the Shane's staff on a field trip involving my son's 6th grade class where able-bodied students were paired with disabled students, and it was one of the most profound experiences for me, but also for the students. It really opened the eyes of the young people to the idea that kids of all abilities deserve a place to play. Shane's is a worthy organization that should win this contest so they can continue to bring access to kids of all abilities all around the world!

by tnozick
over 1 year ago

As a grand parent, it has been such a meaningful experience for me to be able to bring both my able bodied grandchildren to play with my disabled grand child to Shane's special playground. Bless them for what they do help children of all abilities to realize that there are no differences. They deserve to win this contest!!

by BubbieEsther
over 1 year ago

Our family has been going to Shane's Inspiration playgrounds since our kids were toddlers and they love the playgrounds so much.... but what's so great about their parks is that they are inclusive. Our kids have played side-by-side with children with disabilities. What a gift for them to grow up without bias. And last year, our daughter's class participated in Shane's Inspiration's education program, where she was paired with a buddy at a playground. How genius to use a playground as a classroom to teach compassion and acceptance - all while PLAYING! I hope Shane's Inspiration wins the contest and continue to change lives!

by simonsays
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration brings parents and their children together. Where technology today threatens to tear them apart. Way to go!!!

by rmendheim
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration had been a life changing for our family and for a whole community that is growing with an inclusive concept in mind. We all need to be included and they are the vehicle, the bridge that connects two worlds that had been apart for generations.

by nicte.polancomack
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration is the driving force behind social inclusion for kids with disabilities, not only throughout Los Angeles, but across the US and many countries. Its name alone is synonymous with inclusive playgrounds and educational and community outreach programs. And all of it – serves to advance a bias-free world for kids of every ability, who will be future parents and leaders. It's truly life changing for not only kids with disabilities, but able-bodied kids who are playing next to them, and with them, in the most aw-inspiring playground. What's not to love about this?!

by bumpylumpy
over 1 year ago

Many playgrounds have areas for disabled/differently-abled children to play, but the areas are usually away from "regular" kids. That's as ridiculous as "Separate But Equal" 50 years ago! Shane's Inspiration lets ALL children play, not just equally...but TOGETHER! The smiles and laughter help break down the walls regarding who's "normal" and who's "different", a concept the world needs more of. Shane's Inspiration is an inspiration to us all.

by marty.brandon.3
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration is a great organization that brings happiness to many kids that often can't feel like every other child in school with them. On top of that, they do a great job educating kids of all ages that just because someone is disabled it doesn't make them any different from themselves. They are truly an amazing organization!

by Senensieb
over 1 year ago

We love Shane's Inspiration parks--especially the way they bring children of all abilities together to do what kids do best--play! My disabled daughter and able-bodied son were able to play together in a park for the first time ever at Aidan's Place. Their education program, bringing classrooms of children with different abilities together to eliminate bias, are amazing to watch. What a fantastic organization!

by Ckurz
over 1 year ago

There is nothing more heart warming than the sound of children laughing. Shane's Inspiration gives that laughter to all children that get the opportunity to enjoy one of these wonderful playgrounds!
I impressed with the work Shane's Inspiration does and will continue to do. Wonderful people doing wonderful work!

by Ellen1958
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration is so important! Children deserve to play, and Shane's Inspiration helps every child have that opportunity!

by jkillion
over 1 year ago

Amazing people doing the good work.

by cassie.schneider.7
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration is so unique and gives all children the ability to play! I applaud this organization and sincerely hope that they are able to continue creating "magic" for many more deserving children.

by karol.gould
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration continues to make Los Angeles an amazing place for kids and parents and grandparents to play alongside one another. I am in awe of the determination and the dedication of everyone involved with Shane's Inspiration. A fabulous example of giving back to the community.

by catheypainter
over 1 year ago

Together We Play L.A.! is a GREAT Concept!!! Anyone who has played at a Shane's Inspiration-created playground knows how amazing and special they are. It's magical to see children of all abilities playing together, especially when children with disabilities don't have the opportunity to play with their piers as often as typically-abled children. Shane's produces wonderful playdates and programs at their parks. What a GIFT!!!

by izzybee19
over 1 year ago

What can you say about an organization that created the ONLY playground where your disabled child could play? LOVE. That's what they're about. And that love has spread through the state, the country and the rest of the world in the form of playgrounds where ALL kids feel welcome to play!

by ColeStar
over 1 year ago

Shane's Inspiration does incredibly important work to create an inclusive community. I'm proud to support their efforts.

by elena.rogalle
over 1 year ago

56 playgrounds and counting! Here's to more playgrounds and more programming at the playgrounds to continue our mission... one playground at a time!

by ShanesInspiration
over 1 year ago

Thanks, Coburn. We adore Spencer and will continue to create more inclusive playgrounds so people have the opportunity to meet awesome kids like Spencer.

by ShanesInspiration
over 1 year ago

Thanks for being such a generous supporter and incredible advocate for our mission, Steve. It means the world to us. If you haven't already, please vote by Tuesday at noon - L.A. time.

by ShanesInspiration
over 1 year ago

Thanks for sharing, lildogg220!

by ShanesInspiration
over 1 year ago

Thank you so much for your support! We now have 56 inclusive playgrounds open - 30 in Los Angeles! All possible, thanks to great friends like you. If you haven't already, don't forget to vote by Tuesday at noon!

by ShanesInspiration
over 1 year ago

We are so happy you and your grandchildren participated in our My PlayClub program. We meet monthly, so please join us again anytime! Thanks for your support!

by ShanesInspiration
over 1 year ago

Wow! Thank you so much for your great comments, Steve! Here at Shane's Inspiration, we believe it is the birthright of every child to be able to simply play in a park! With supportive advocates like you, we are accomplishing just that! Please remember to VOTE for Together We Play L.A.! if you haven't already. Thanks!

by ShanesInspiration
over 1 year ago

Thanks for commenting, Julie! Don't forget to vote by 9/16 at noon PT.

by ShanesInspiration
over 1 year ago

"Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world." as Nelson Mandela said. Thanks for helping us change the world - one playground at a time, Tamara! We appreciate your support!

by ShanesInspiration
over 1 year ago

We have the privilege of serving the most beautiful families with the most amazing parents. Thanks for your support!

by ShanesInspiration
over 1 year ago

Our hats off to you and your friend for helping spread awareness about our mission! We have only 8 employees, so we rely heavily on our volunteers and supporters like you! Have a great day and thanks for commenting and voting for Together We Play L.A.!

by ShanesInspiration
over 1 year ago

Laura, you've been with us from the start with your unwavering support! Thank you for all you do to foster social inclusion for kids with disabilities! Together, we are making a difference!

by ShanesInspiration
over 1 year ago

Rick, thanks for ALWAYS being an advocate for children of ALL abilities! We are so grateful!

by ShanesInspiration
over 1 year ago

Kent, thanks for all your terrific support. The piece you did on the Grand Opening of our 50th playground in Studio City, our home base, was so fabulous! I'm sharing the link to anyone that might be reading these comments: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2014/05/13/local-couple-gives-disabled-children-a-place-to-play-after-loss-of-son/

by ShanesInspiration
over 1 year ago

"Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead... that's one of our philosophies here at Shane's Inspiration. Thanks for your kind comments!

by ShanesInspiration
over 1 year ago

Thank you! We are currently in first place! Hopefully, we will maintain that lead until the end!

by ShanesInspiration
over 1 year ago

Thank you for commenting! With your help, hopefully many more inclusive playgrounds will continue to be created in our communities!

by ShanesInspiration
over 1 year ago

Thanks for sharing your comment. It means a lot to us! If you haven't already done so, could you please take a moment to cast your VOTE for Together We Play L.A.! at http://bit.ly/TogetherWePlayLA. Vote once before noon on 9/16. Thanks!

by ShanesInspiration
over 1 year ago

Thank you so much for sharing your comment. It means a lot to us! If you haven't already done so, could you please take a moment to cast your VOTE for Together We Play L.A.! Vote once before noon on 9/16. Thanks! We are so grateful

by simonsays
over 1 year ago

Exactly! Powerful! Awesome! Thank you for sharing.

by DWC1
over 1 year ago

And this project will reach 3,000 kids to do this!

by parisa
over 1 year ago

A great organization! Thanks Shane's Inpiration for giving our kids with special needs the oportunity to have access to your inclusive play ground and playdates

by maria.soto.35912
over 1 year ago

Great and safe playground, we take our son to their play dates since he was little and used a walker. Now he walks, but still enjoys en benfit so much from this inclusive playdates, safe and accesible playgrounds. We need more playgrounds like Shane's Inpiration in our Community

by maria.soto.35912
over 1 year ago

We are up to 58 playgrounds now! Thanks for your support!

by ShanesInspiration
6 months ago

Pink ribbon award box icon 45b87e779c93f5099a48378c2aadc0fcd51184974daecf76e3f5c50034ea21fb
Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
$100,000
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Submission Ended
Thursday, July 31, 2014
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Voting Ended
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 3 83da7a9432aeea960e1a9e9ee93e7ea1221af6c8f42b27964f2e9999d94b2b8d Step3 title 3d9e2a65d6ea1ad301f8fc607f5f828bd96362932c71d81c0da5b1fd964422b0
75 School Gardens in Los Angeles Schools!
75 School Gardens in Los Angeles Schools!

Winner Announced
Tuesday, September 30, 2014