The Founding of Hailey's Wish – A Foundation for Inclusive Play

 

I founded Hailey's Wish because of my children. My daughter, Hailey, is diagnosed with cerebral palsy and her physical disabilities prevent her from playing with her siblings and other children at community playgrounds. There are many children like Hailey who are deprived of the opportunity to enjoy their childhood and to participate in everyday play activities that most people take for granted. Imagine how heart wrenching it is for a mother to standby while her child sits sadly along the sidelines of the playground watching other children laugh and play together. No child or parent should have to endure such a great sadness. I strongly believe that every child should be able to play at the community playground. It is with this goal in mind that I founded Hailey's Wish.

 

There are very few accessible community playgrounds in Carroll County or the surrounding areas that offer an inclusive play environment. The playground design goals of Hailey's Wish go beyond accessibility. It is not enough for children to be able to access the playground area. Children must be able to use the playground equipment. Children with disabilities struggle everyday to participate in basic life activities such as sitting, walking, eating and speaking. They must endure surgeries and constant therapy. These children must be able to play and enjoy life just like every other child. Accessible and inclusive community playgrounds will improve the quality of life for children with disabilities and bring them the joy they deserve. These children are an inspiration, and with the right equipment, their accomplishments are amazing. The playgrounds will also enhance the lives of able-bodied children, because they will have the opportunity to get to know these exceptional children.

 

I hope my story demonstrates that Hailey's Wish seeks to achieve more than just playground construction. We strive to create play environments that will change the lives of children with disabilities.

 

Yours Very Truly,

Brigitte Miller

Founder and Chair

Hailey's Wish strives to bring joy to the lives of children with disabilities by building and promoting accessible and inclusive community playgrounds.

 

Hailey’s Wish seeks to achieve three specific goals:

 

1. Children with disabilities will be able to participate in playground activities.

 

2. Children with disabilities will have the opportunity to interact with other children, both with and without disabilities.

 

3. Children without disabilities will have the opportunity to interact with children who are affected by disabilities...

 

...encouraging the development of relationships between all children without regard to disabilities.

To meet its goals and objectives, Hailey’s Wish operates under the following core values:

Inclusion → Awareness → Acceptance

Hailey's Wish helped Carroll Springs School raise $130,000 to build the Hailey's Wish Boundless Playground in Westminster Maryland. The playground is located on the property of Carroll Springs School on Center Street directly across from the Carroll County Farm Museum. This location is ideal because it is centrally located in the county for optimal accessibility by the community while also benefiting the children of this special education public school every day. The playground includes rubber surfacing, ramps, high-back swings, accessible activity panels and more! It also includes physically challenging activites. The playground is designed to encourage inclusion and interaction among all children without regard to physical ability. See more pictures of the playground in our photo gallery.