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Rock River Playground
Rock River Playground
Doug Disch
Friday, August 30, 2019

Kendra Ter Beest and Naomi Beahm have one goal in mind: a playground everyone can enjoy.

Together, they created Access 4 Recess: a movement to create an all-abilities playground in Waupun, accessible to anyone with disabilities.

Both Ter Beest and Beahm have 9-year-old sons with disabilities that make using the school's existing playground equipment difficult — or even impossible. The boys, she said, have been in special education classes together at Rock River Intermediate School in Waupun since they started school in third grade.

Navigating the playground is difficult for the boys, says Ter Beest. Pea gravel is almost impossible to traverse for those who have difficulty walking, and many features of playgrounds are inaccessible to those with canes, crutches, walkers and wheelchairs.

“My son has a terribly hard time walking through that, and you can’t really push a wheelchair,” said Ter Beest, who said the kids have to “stand there and watch their peers play.”

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