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Newsletter Ncpad- Setembro/2011

NCPAD NEWS: September 2011
Volume 10, Issue 9


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THIS MONTH’S TOPICS From the Editor’s Desk: Amusement Park for People with Disabilities

Located in San Antonio, Texas, Morgan’s Wonderland is the first of its kind — the first and only amusement park for children and adults with disabilities. Named after founder Gordon Hartman’s daughter (who has an intellectual disability), Morgan’s Wonderland aims to offer everything any guest might enjoy at a theme park, while also appealing to non-disabled visitors.

The motto of Morgan’s Wonderland is "Where Everyone Can Play." Inclusion plays an important role. Hartman can remember, during a family trip a few years ago, seeing his daughter Morgan wanting to play with three kids tossing a ball in a pool, but she couldn’t interact. The kids, just as unsure how to interact with Morgan, stopped playing.

Morgan’s Wonderland is a 25-acre park that offers specific accommodations for people with physical or mental disabilities, down to jungle gyms wide enough to fit two wheelchairs side-by-side, a "Sensory Village" that’s an indoor mall of touch-and-hear activities, and daily attendance limits, so the park never gets too loud or lines too long. The park has 20 attractions, from active (Butterfly Playground) to easygoing (a train circling a mile-long loop through the park and around a lake). The park also features an ideal place for autistic children – the Sitting Garden. 

Park admission is free for people with disabilities, and adults accompanying them pay $10. Guests are given an electronic wristband that allows families and caregivers to keep tabs on their group in the park, and scanning the wristbands on some rides emails a free photo back home. Three out of every four visitors do not have disabilities.

Some of Morgan’s Wonderland Attractions:

  • Sensory Village is a mechanic’s shop with tools mounted on a low table. A light touch of the drill triggers the crank-like sound of a bolt driving flush into an engine block. Next door is a pretend supermarket with plastic lobsters, ears of corn, and cans of tuna, and cashiers who always hand back the right amount of invisible change.
  • Most interactive is a low-lit space with a touch-sensitive floor, giving the illusion of walking across a pond as the water ripples and colors burst with every step. White canvases on the walls, meanwhile, transform into butterflies chasing a shadow anytime someone steps in front of the projector.
  • Sprouting from the sandboxes are "diggers" — think shovels and rakes — that can be operated sitting down from a wheelchair. Another nearby sandbox is elevated 4 ½ feet, next to a musical garden of giant xylophones and chimes. The chariots on the carousel are reserved for wheelchairs, and many of the horses are fitted with high back cushions for children who need the support.

To learn more about Morgan’s Wonderland Amusement Park, go to:

Send your questions and comments to Jenny Carlton, NCPAD News Editor, at

FITT Column: Restoring Play to All Children

As children go back to school and the summer draws to an end, it is a time of bitter sweetness. Children say farewell to the long summer days of playing outside with their friends and enter the school year with much anticipation of what is to come. This month’s FITT column highlights a new article on the importance of play for all children and is authored by Joan Almon. Joan is the Executive Director of the Alliance for Childhood, a nonprofit organization that works on early childhood education. The Alliance for Childhood promotes policies and practices that support children’s healthy development, love of learning, and joy in living.

To read more, go to:

Community Voice: Discovering Dance

Dancing is actually the last thing Judy Smith ever imagined she would be doing. As a child and teenager, her passion was horses. She grew up riding through the Colorado Mountains and competing on the horseshow circuit in hunter/jumper classes. At age 17, Judy was in a car accident that drastically altered the course of her life. She spent the next several years sitting very still, being an alien in her own body, and trying to figure out what in the world she was going to do with the remainder of her time on Earth.

To read more, go to:

From the Information Specialist’s Desk: Reminder: NCPAD’s 14-Week Rolling Program! And More.

NCPAD’s 14-Week Program to a Healthier You!

The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability invites people with mobility limitations, chronic health conditions, and physical disabilities to participate in this personalized, web-based program that can be done from home with little to no equipment.

This program offers 14 weeks of:

  • New, personalized weekly exercises
  • Physical activity and nutrition tips
  • Motivational resources
  • Weekly recipes
  • Features to help you track your activity and what you eat
  • Optional reminders and alerts
  • Opportunities to connect with other participants
  • Access to knowledgeable 14-Week coaches

Whether you are new to physical activity or already active, this program is designed for you! 

Sign up at:

Be Active Your Way blog – "Encouraging Individuals with Disabilities to Participate in Physical Activity"

By Jenny Carlton

Health Disparities Chart Book on Disability and Racial and Ethnic Status in the U.S.

The report is to answer the question of whether working age (18-64) people with disabilities in the United States experience health disparities similar to those experienced by members of racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States.

More news you might have missed this past month:

Abilities Expo has announced three winners of its NEW Logo Contest! 

Google Accessibility Survey for Blind Users

My American Dream — Voices of Americans with Disabilities Video Contest
Submission Deadline: September 18, 2011

Guest Columnist: Elizabeth Toumajian - A Body In Motion

Elizabeth has been in the field of exercise and disability for over 15 years, and has enjoyed the challenges of everything from personal training to designing and creating a 12,000-square-foot fitness center for people with disabilities. She explains the importance of movement, regardless of a disability. 

To read more, go to:

Nutrition Spotlight: Flavors of Fall

It is hard to believe that summer is coming to an end. Soon, the air will be cooler, the leaves will be changing color, and fall will be upon us. With the season comes an amazing variety of foods that signify autumn. These foods are not only delicious, but also provide important health benefits. 

To read this month’s column, go to:

Training Corner: Need New Training Ideas for Clients with Disabilities?

Are you a personal trainer and/or a person with a disability looking for adaptations to various exercises? Or maybe looking for a exercise program that is personalized to your ability level? Well, then, NCPAD’s 14-Week Program to a Healthier You could be the right program for you. To learn more about this online program, click below. 

To read this month’s column, please go to:


NCPAD is funded by the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is located at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Department of Disability and Human Development. All materials listed below - and more - are available on the NCPAD Web site at or by calling our toll-free number: 1-800-900-8086. Alternative formats are available. 

NCPAD’s partner affiliates include the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), the National Center on Accessibility (NCA), The Arc of the U.S, the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), and UCP National. Friendly, highly trained Information Specialists are available through a toll-free hotline and TTY at 1-800-900-8086,, or fax 1-312-355-4058 to provide personalized responses to your questions.


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Links to articles appearing on other sites or sources are subject to the reproduction rules of those sites or sources. All other articles appearing in this newsletter are copyrighted by Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois (2003) unless otherwise noted. These articles may be freely distributed electronically provided that they are distributed in their entirety and include the following notice: "This article originally appeared in The NCPAD-News, issue date ##. It may be freely distributed electronically as long as it includes this notice but cannot be edited, modified, or distributed in other form(s) without the express written permission of NCPAD. Write to for additional details." Any other use of the materials in NCPAD-News or on the NCPAD Web site at, including modification or re-publication without our prior written permission is strictly prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, posting to another Web site. Contact us via e-mail, The information provided in this material was supported by Grant/Cooperative Agreement Number U59/CCU516732-04 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.


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