WASHINGTON (ABC7) — On Monday, in Northwest D.C., ABC7 Reporter Q McCray caught up with Jamie Smith while she was struggling to push her daughter's wheelchair.
A struggle Smith described as completely unacceptable—a struggle her beautiful 10-year-old, Claire, shouldn't have to deal with.
Claire's a Frozen fan like every other little girl her age, but she is a child with disabilities.
"This is getting worse. It's definitely not better," Smith said.
Smith's issue is with Lafayette Children's Park and Kalorama Park. Over the past two years, the District spent 2.3 million tax dollars to fix them up, but according to non-profit University Legal Services, the parks don't meet Americans With Disabilities Act federal laws.
Children like Claire are victims of the oversight.
"The entire perimeter has this bump that makes it almost impossible for a wheelchair," Smith explained.
There isn't a ramp into Lafayette play area. Of all the brand new playground equipment there's only one swing fit for Claire to use. Then there's the wood chip flooring, also called engineered wood fiber. They are not ideal for anyone in a wheelchair let alone Claire.
The Department of Parks and Recreation sent ABC 7 News a statement which says in part the wood chips are "a popular choice for use at playgrounds, because of its natural look and feel and the fact that it remains cooler to the touch in direct sunlight compared to other surfaces."
Claire's younger sibling agree with that, but even they understand this setup just isn't right.
"It's just not fair," said Ben Smith. We get to play, but she doesn't get to. She has to sit there."
Sourced from: http://wjla.com/news/local/northwest-dc-playgrounds-do-not-meet-ada-regulations