Franklin Roosevelt contracted a disease called polio when he was 39 that took away his ability to move his legs. And while he needed leg braces and a wheel chair to get around, that never prevented him from doing what he wanted to. Specially designed items improved accessibility for FDR, like the armless wheelchair that allowed him to slide into his desk chair, and a car he could drive with levers to work the gas and brake. He even designed a small cottage with low windows, no stairs and wide and easily accessible doors so he could live more independently.
How accessible would your favorite park or playground be for a person with a disability like FDR’s?
- Are the gates and sidewalks wide enough and smooth enough for a wheelchair?
- Are there ramps in addition to or instead of steps?
- Are there special play, seating, or eating areas for people with special needs?
- Are there areas that allow people with special needs and those without to play, sit and eat with each other?
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Post a photo of accessibility accommodations in your local playground or park. These can include ramps, special swings, picnic tables that can have people in wheel chairs sit at them, etc. Include the hashtag #fdrsummer (Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter) so we can follow your progress.
FDR was so determined to beat polio he bought a run-down old resort in Warm Springs, Georgia, and had it fixed up and turned into a treatment center for people impacted by polio. He spent nearly one third of his personal fortune getting the place up and running.
To help fund the Warm Springs Treatment Center FDR founded which of the following organizations?
- The March of Dimes
- The Special Olympics
- Ronald McDonald House
- The Warm Springs Walker’s Club