MANSFIELD, OH - Rain Drop Products has announced that the Mansfield YMCA Splash Park will move beyond accessibility compliance through making features accessible, to working towards the inclusion of all guests, independent of ability.
The splash park, which is scheduled to open its doors on May 25th of this year, will feature various elements to provide learning opportunities, such as, cause and effect, motor planning, and sensory integration.
The layout of the splash park was designed by Rain Drop Products to ensure that the spaces meet the sensory needs of all guests, according to a press release. Two integrated zones will be present on the splash pad to allow transition between spaces.
The zone will offer gentler, quieter features for guests who prefer active, high-impact areas with greater interactivity.
A brail map will also be installed in the park to guests who are blind and visually impaired.
Different types of water sprays will provide multiple auditory, visual, and tactile experiences, which Rain Drop Products hopes will lead to learning opportunities. LED rings installed on sprays will allow water to change color through choreographic motion.
The Mansfield YMCA has also installed multiple surfaces and textures to the park such as smooth rough and rubberized surfaces. The Y will also offer guests the opportunity to strengthen their proprioceptive sense and spatial awareness as they navigate through the park and play with features that facilitate "heavy-work" activities, such as climbing features and cannons.
A sensory sub will be present at the splash park. The sensory sub will provide self-directed/self-paced interactive auditory and visual sensory stimuli. The feature will also have multiple activities that allow guests to choose which effects to turn on digital audio that plays when activated, LED lights, a bubble machine, two infinity mirrors, a vibrating motor, and a perspective illusion of the ocean floor.
The same self-direction will carry over to the Surf Bus feature which is an interactive, encourages social interaction, provides lights and sounds, and sprays water.
"We had the realization that we needed to move away from a one size fits all design model and into something very different," Mark Williams, Rain Drop's CEO/President stated. "At that point, we reached out to our higher education partners in Ashland University's college of education to work towards shifting the paradigm in how we looked at our design process and how we talk to our client about accessibility and disability."
Rain Drop Products states that the goal of the project was to build a water park that was accessible and inclusive to all guests.