It is practically every kid's dream to own, or at least play in, a treehouse. Unfortunately, for many kids with a disability, that dream may not come true. The Treehouse Guys (formerly known as Forever Young) want to help change that fact about treehouses. The organization's goal is to have universally accessible treehouses for kids with a wheelchair or disability in all 50 states.
Accessible treehouses are much like traditional treehouses. There are some differences to make them easier to access for kids with disabilities. However, the main concept is still the same. An accessible treehouse is still a playhouse for kids that is built around or inside of a tree or trees. It just has the added benefit of being accessible to a wheelchair, as well as to kids with a variety of disabilities.
Children in wheelchairs, with a variety of disabilities, as well as those without disabilities, can access these treehouses. Some traditional treehouses require entry through climbing a rope or ladder. Treehouses by The Treehouse Guys instead have a wheelchair accessible ramp. In fact, the entire treehouse can be navigated with a wheelchair.
The Treehouse Guys treehouses are universally accessible, which is great news for kids with disabilities who may or may not require a wheelchair. The treehouses are also only built in trees examined by an arboreal specialist to ensure they are of quality. They have to be able to support the treehouse, as well as kids and wheelchairs. As the company stated (when branded as Forever Young), "A good treehouse is only as good as the trees that they are built in."
Anyone can get a wheelchair accessible treehouse built. If money is an issue, The Treehouse Guys will do all they can to help those in need get a universally accessible treehouse. Sometimes that includes helping the recipients plan fundraising, which can come from many sources and be done in a variety of ways.
"I'm glad that the kids in wheelchairs can actually get into a treehouse, because now they don't feel so left out," says Delaney Sekinger, the sister of a boy with cerebral palsy.
Then, there is Sara Reiser who simply states "I never been to a treehouse in all my life. I never had a tree house to go to," which is what many kids may feel like, especially those in a wheelchair or with a disability. Even if they have been around treehouses, it is likely they were not accessible to kids with disabilities.
That is why universally accessible treehouses are so important for kids. Not only can they provide an amazing opportunity for kids with disabilities, but they can also help bring together a community. Kids with and without a wheelchair or disability can play together in the treehouse.
Jennifer Williams, who is a teacher, said in regards to the accessible treehouse in Virginia, " I think it's important that they get to experience what all other kids get to experience, that they are part of what every other kid could get to see, touch and feel. I think they enjoy doing what their peers will be able to do."
The Treehouse Guys/Forever Young
WGNTV.com "Everybody's Tree House"
NBC 29 "Wheelchair Accessible Treehouse" by Ken Slack
*I originally published this on Disaboom.com via Yahoo Contributor Network
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
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