Oise: the sad failure of play areas equipped for disabled children

The inclusive playground on the theme of the Little Prince was a small revolution in the world of disability. The first of the Oise. Opened in October 2020 at the Parc de Bayser, in Compiègne, it attracts even more crowds than ever, but … more children with disabilities, for whom it was designed.

Because if these structures open to all multiply – each new area of ​​Compiègne has an inclusive module, the one opened in May 2021 in Lacroix-Saint-Ouen, one will have to be put into service next week in Margny-lès-Compiègne – the latter unfortunately victims of repeated incivility.

To the point that Amal Moucharik, president of the Petit Prince Ali association and instigator of the first area, who dreamed of a place where children, all different, play together abandoning prejudices, no longer goes there.

Other users, “it doesn’t matter”

“I know other parents who haven’t been around for a long time,” she sighs. People don’t read the signs explaining the principle. When we visit them to talk to them, they don’t care. The park manager tried to intervene, but nothing helped. “

Faced with the lack of respect from users, the inclusive playground no longer has its primary purpose. In Compiègne, the nest-shaped swing that allows paraplegic children to swing has been removed. Same thing at the Lacroix-Saint-Ouen rest area.

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

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

Not to mention the scooters and other bikes that “go dark”. “The gendarmes have passed several times to scold the young people, but it was useless”, complains the pensioner. “We had to remove the swing but it’s not normal, confesses the mayor (LR), Jean Dessart. The guys broke it quickly. We should put it back soon. “

La Croix Saint-Ouen, Saturday. Opened in May 2021, the playground had elements for children with disabilities. The nest swing designed for children deprived of mobility was removed because many did not respect its original use. (LP / Stephanie Forestier)

Should we communicate better? If, in Compiègne, an information panel presents what an inclusive playground is at the entrance, in Lacroix-Saint-Ouen, the latter is less visible. “Yes, I saw the sign, but I didn’t read it. Including, I thought it meant it was as good for girls as it was for boys, “reflects one mother, worried about seeing a German Shepherd roaming freely in the area.

The wheelchair bounce hall acts as a launch pad for scooters

And I’m not sure that’s enough. In Compiègne, the bouncing alley, which allows children in wheelchairs to enjoy the sensations of the trampoline, was quickly occupied by scooters. “They use it as a springboard,” comments Éliane, who also tested the Bayser park area. Sometimes you find cigarette butts there, it’s sad. “

Compiègne, Bayser Park, Saturday.  The ground was torn up in various places and the nest swing was also removed.  (LP / Stephanie Forestier)
Compiègne, Bayser Park, Saturday. The ground was torn up in various places and the nest swing was also removed. (LP / Stephanie Forestier)

Do inclusive playgrounds have a future? “I wonder, Amal Moucharik sighs. These nest swings are essential and yet are removed. The problem is that the municipalities don’t talk about it enough. There was not even the inauguration in Compiègne… People don’t know what it is and don’t bother to look. We, associations and parents of disabled children, cannot be the police every day. It is a real disappointment. “

Despite everything, other inclusive areas are planned in Noyon, Nogent-sur-Oise or Creil. Like Amal Moucharik at the time, these are parents who dream of seeing their children play like others. Khadija Ait Baba Ali, president of Handinsertion, is on the front line at Creillois and will make sure that information is passed on to users.

In Creil, Handinsert still wants to try the experiment

“I believe it! I’ll go all the way! This feedback is useful. A panel obviously isn’t enough. When you enter a playground the children are in a hurry, they don’t have time for a sign. I’ll see if we can mark the games with pictograms. Like the Disabled seats with wheelchair users. This may force people to respect the games more. “

In Margny, the city hall hopes that the fences prevent harmful acts. “The police will open and close the area to prevent it from being degraded overnight,” confirms Bernard Hellal (Modem). Let’s hope that’s enough. Municipalities admit that they are powerless in the face of people’s uncivilized behavior. “Like all playgrounds, sports or fitness areas, it is very complicated, confirms Jean Desessart. We put in large sums and there is no respect. The municipal police pass, the gendarmerie passes, but the agents cannot stay permanently. “

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