Oise: the sad failure of playgrounds adapted for children with disabilities

The inclusive platform on the theme of the Little Prince has become a small revolution in the world of people with disabilities. The first of the Oise. Opened in October 2020 at Beiser Park in Compiègne, it still attracts as many people as before, but… more of the disabled children it was designed for.

Because if these facilities, open to all, multiply – there is an inclusive module in every new area of ​​Compiègne, one of which was opened in May 2021 in Lacroix-Saint-Ouen, one is due to be put into operation next week in Margny- le Compiègne are the last, unfortunately, victims of repeated insults.

To the point that Amal Mucharik, president of the Little Prince Ali association and initiator of the first direction, who dreamed of a place where children, so different, would play together, abandoning prejudices, no longer goes there.

Other users don’t care

“I know other parents who have not been around for a long time,” she sighs. People don’t read signs that explain the principle. When we go to them to talk to them about it, they don’t care. The park ranger tried to intervene, but nothing helped. »

Faced with disrespect from users, the inclusive playground no longer has its primary purpose. In Compiègne, the nest-shaped swings used by paraplegic children have been removed. The same is true in the Lacroix-Saint-Ouen recreation area.

“Yes, I saw the sign, but I didn’t really read it”

“It’s been 4 or 5 months since he’s gone,” says Elian, who takes her grandchildren there once a week to play. “The teenagers took it over and it was getting dangerous. They were swinging fast. Children could no longer go there. »

Not to mention scooters and other bikes that go dark. “The gendarmes came several times to reprimand the young people, but it was useless,” the pensioner laments. “We had to remove the swing, but this is not normal,” admits Mayor (LR) Jean Dessard. Teenagers quickly broke it. We must return it as soon as possible. »

La Croix Saint-Ouen, Saturday. The playground, opened in May 2021, has elements for children with disabilities. Nest swings intended for immobilized children were removed because many did not respect their original use. (LP/Stephanie Forestier)

Do we need to communicate better? If in Compiègne the information panel shows what an inclusive playground is at the entrance, then in Lacroix-Saint-Ouen the latter is less visible. “Yes, I saw the sign, but I didn’t really read it. Inclusive, I thought that meant it was just as good for girls as it was for boys,” muses the mother, worried that a German Shepherd roams freely in the area.

The jumping passage for wheelchairs serves as a springboard for scooters.

And I’m not sure if that’s enough. In Compiègne, the trampoline, which allows children in wheelchairs to enjoy the thrill of a trampoline, was quickly replaced by scooters. “They use it as a springboard,” comments Elian, who also tested the Bayser park area. Sometimes cigarette butts are found there, it’s sad. »

Compiègne, Beiser Park, Saturday.  The earth was torn out in various places, and the swing of the nest was also removed.  (LP/Stephanie Forestier)
Compiègne, Beiser Park, Saturday. The earth was torn out in various places, and the swing of the nest was also removed. (LP/Stephanie Forestier)

Is there a future for inclusive playgrounds? “Interesting,” sighs Amal Mucharik. These nest swings are necessary, and yet they are removed. The problem is that there is little talk about this in the mayor’s office. Compiègne didn’t even have an inauguration… People don’t know what it is and don’t bother looking for it. We, associations and parents of children with disabilities, cannot be the police every day. This is a real disappointment. »

Despite everything, other inclusive areas are being planned in Noyon, Nogent-sur-Oise or Creil. Like Amal Mucharik at the time, these are parents who dream of seeing their children play like others. Khadija Ait Baba Ali, President of Handinsertion, is at the forefront of Creiowa and will ensure that information is communicated to users.

Creil Handinsertion still wants to experiment

” I believe in it! I will go to the end! These reviews are useful. The panel is clearly not enough. When you enter the playground, the children are in a hurry, they do not have time for the sign. I will see if we can mark the games with pictograms. I like the places for the disabled with characters in wheelchairs. It can make people respect games more.”

In Marni, the mayor’s office hopes that the fences will prevent malicious acts. “The police will open and close the area to prevent it from being destroyed at night,” confirms Bernard Hellal (Modem). We hope this will be enough. City halls recognize their powerlessness in front of the uncivilized behavior of people. “Like all playgrounds, sports or fitness centers, it is very complex,” confirms Jean Dessard. We invest large sums in it and there is no respect. The municipal police pass, the gendarmerie pass, but the agents cannot remain permanently. »