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America’s first water park for kids with special needs opens

June 30, 2017            

By Mendy Hecht, Hamaspik Gazette

Morgan’s Inspiration Island, a fully-accessible splash park in San Antonio, Texas, opened to the public for the first time on June 17, 2017.  Individuals with special needs may visit for free.

 

The splash park, the first of its kind nationwide, is designed from the ground up to accommodate children and adults with various special needs.

 

The $17 million water park features five play areas with pools, geysers, jets, water cannons and other elements, as well as a five-minute jungle-themed riverboat ride with twists and turns.

The new park is adjacent to Morgan’s Wonderland, a fully-accessible 25-acre theme park that opened in 2010.

 

“Like Morgan’s Wonderland, Morgan’s Inspiration Island is not a special-needs park; it’s a park of inclusion,” said Gordon Hartman, the philanthropist behind both.  “Both were designed with special-needs individuals in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment.”

 

According to Mr. Hartman, the tropical-themed park was built with water park consultants from Texas, Arizona and Canada—and the input of doctors, therapists, special educators and families.

 

Morgan’s Inspiration Island is entirely wheelchair-accessible, and even offers visitors air-powered waterproof wheelchairs invented just for the park—disability news in their own right.

 

Morgan’s Inspiration Island also offers high-tech tracking wristbands for visiting parents to easily locate their children.

 

Morgan’s Wonderland was inspired seven years ago by Mr. Hartman’s daughter Morgan, 23, who has cognitive and physical challenges.  Since opening over seven years ago, Morgan’s Wonderland has had over a million visitors from around the nation and globe.