Cochrane has just taken a huge leap forward in the push for accessibility and inclusiveness.
The town unveiled its first ever Liberty Swing recently, with Cochranite Katie taking the first ride.
The Liberty Swing was created in Australia, and gives those in wheelchairs an opportunity to play on a park.
Blake Richards, Cochrane’s Member of Parliament, thinks it’s of great importance to include everybody in the community.
“This is a great part of giving all children that opportunity.” He says. “There are a number of people in the community that were strong advocates for making sure that we’re being inclusive and giving everybody the accessibility to enjoy time on a playground.”
The installation of the swing was made possible with a $50,000 Government Accessibility grant in 2015. Richards says it also took a lot of hard work from leaders in the community to make the Liberty Swing a reality.
“That’s generally how these things happen. Cochrane will be a trailblazer and trendsetter for a lot of other communities”
The swing is the first of its kind in Southern Alberta, Richards is hopeful it won’t be the last.
“I think anytime someone pushes and is the pioneer and takes that first step, it always sets a great example, whether it be more here in Cochrane or in other places in the county, or throughout Alberta. This will be something that will set a tone for others to follow, and it’s a really worthy goal to seek more accessibility and greater inclusiveness on our playgrounds and all our recreational opportunities.”
The swing is located at the playground on West McDougal Road.