In San Antonio, Texas a new water park has opened up. What makes it different from all the other water parks in the world? This one was designed specifically with kids with disabilities in mind. The extension of Morgan's Wonderland called Morgan's Inspiration Island, is an all inclusive water park that is wheelchair accessible and guests with special needs are admitted at no cost.
One of the Morgan's Wonderland and Morgan's Inspiration Island creators, Gordon Hartman, a father of a daughter with physical and congestive challenges, said, “We decided to call it Morgan’s Inspiration Island because Morgan truly has been the catalyst for every project we’ve pursued to help the special-needs community.”
The $17-million Morgan’s Inspiration Island also features waterproof RFID (radio-frequency identification) wristbands so parents can keep track of their kids, a lighthouse that is 7 stories and a water play area called Rainbow Reef, which has water that can be warmed up for guests with a sensitivity to the cold.
Gordon said, while building and planning the water park, they consulted with water park professionals, doctors, and special education experts as well as local teachers, parents and caregivers. They also collaborated with the University of Pittsburgh to feature air-powered waterproof wheelchairs. According to the university’s Human Engineering Research Laboratories, the innovative PneuChair uses “high-pressured air as an energy source” and charges in 10 minutes. In turn, the park offers private areas for guests to transfer out of their personal wheelchairs and into the waterproof wheelchairs.
The park hopes to ensure that the guests will be able to have fun without worry. “Morgan’s Inspiration Island promises to give individuals with physical or cognitive special needs a place where they can splash and play without barriers,” Gordon said.
The inspiration for the theme park goes as follows;
"Call her a catalyst, a spark, an inspiration. Morgan Hartman doesn’t realize it, but her ability to smile through physical and cognitive challenges spurred her parents – Gordon and Maggie Hartman – to do things never before accomplished for individuals with special needs and their families. Morgan not only inspired the creation of a one-of-a-kind theme park but also a unique school and other initiatives benefiting the special-needs community."
The rest of Morgan's story can found the parks website under their "About Us" tab.
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