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Chicago: Suburban schools add "inclusive playgrounds"; sensory wall for children with autism

Aug 21, 2019, Chicago Daily Herald: New accessible school playgrounds are a 'natural extension of the inclusive world' https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20190821/new-accessible-school-playgrounds-are-a-natural-extension-of-the-inclusive-world At least two suburban school systems have debuted inclusive playgrounds for the new academic season that are meant to be fun and accessible for children regardless of their physical abilities. … In Palatine, Marion Jordan and Jane Addams elementary schools have remodeled playgrounds suitable for all children, including those with disabilities. One highlight is a sensory wall at Jane Addams for children with autism. The fully accessible playgrounds at Palatine Township Elementary District 15 and Barrington Area Unit District 220 "are an exciting part" of an overall statewide trend of schools becoming more inclusive for children from all backgrounds, said Kevin Rubenstein, board president of the Illinois Alliance of Administrators of Special Education. "Over the past several years, we have seen a significant uptick in the number of students with significant disabilities attending their neighborhood schools," said Rubenstein, director of student services, technology and assessment at Lake Bluff Elementary District 65.… "District 15 feels play is not an extra, but an essential component of a student's education," Superintendent Laurie Heinz said. "We plan to invest in two playgrounds each year to ensure all kids have a wonderful, inclusive experience playing outdoors at our schools."