Senator Mattera And Assemblyman Jensen Announce Bills To Ensure Handicap-Accessible Playgrounds

Senator Mario R. Mattera (2nd Senate District) joined with Assemblyman Josh Jensen (134th Assembly District) and members of their respective conferences to host a joint press conference regarding the introduction of legislation that would ensure that all children have equal access to playground equipment.

The two legislators announced two pieces of legislation that will directly enhance the availability of handicap-accessible playground equipment to all New York children.  The first piece of legislation is called the Everyone Can Play bill (A.9539/S.8626).  It would create a state grant program to help make it easier for local municipalities to afford to install handicap-accessible aspects to recreation facilities.  The second would ensure certain handicap-accessible playground equipment in playgrounds within each state park (A.9923/S.8646).

Santii Patel, a nine-year-old resident of the Town of Greece and a constituent of Assemblyman Jensen, joined the legislators to advocate for New York children with disabilities.  She recently raised nearly $7,000 for a wheelchair-accessible swing for a local park in the town, giving every kid a chance to play.

“No child should be left out from playing on a playground with their friends and family because the equipment doesn’t accommodate their needs,” said Jensen. “While more and more communities are choosing to create handicapped-accessibly playgrounds, this commitment by our state is crucial to help reduce the costs of the new equipment for local governments. Miss Patel is an inspiration with her passion to help others and she has done an exceptional job raising awareness, locally, stateways and nationally of this issue at such a young age.”

“My office began working on this issue due to the advocacy of Ms. Lois Fricke of the Long Island Home Builders Care program and I thank her and Santii for showing that kindness can lead to change.  All of New York’s children should be able to play with their friends and New York must be a leader in removing any barriers that stand in their way.  No child should ever be left out and I am proud to partner with Assemblyman Jensen to make sure that everyone can play,” stated Senator Mattera.