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Published on June 12, 2024
Palm Beach County Installs Communication Boards in Parks to Foster Inclusivity for Non-Verbal VisitorsSource: Palm Beach County

Palm Beach County is setting a new standard for inclusive play with the installation of communication boards at numerous park playgrounds, a resourceful step designed to assist non-verbal and speech-challenged individuals in connecting with others around them. As reported by the county's official news release, the boards will feature a variety of pictures and symbols aimed at facilitating communication for those who may struggle with traditional language, specifically targeting non-verbal, speech-challenged, and early-learning individuals. The initiative is part of the county's broader "PBC Parks: Where You Belong" campaign, advocating for a park system that embraces all visitors.

Jennifer Cirillo, the director of Parks and Recreation in Palm Beach County, has championed the initiative, which is made viable through the generosity of donators who have laid the financial groundwork for this project, she praised the program's ability to bridge communication gaps and foster a more inclusive environment, saying, "The introduction of communication boards in our parks demonstrates our dedication to ensuring equal access to our park facilities for all individuals." Cirillo's comments uphold the county's steadfast promise to support diversity and bolster community bonds within these recreational spaces.

The inaugural rollout of the communication boards commences at 14 sites, including but not limited to, Limestone Creek Playground and Loggers Run Park, spanning from areas like San Castle Community Park to the All Abilities Playgrounds inside parks such as Lake Lytal and Burt Aaronson South County Regional. This move possibly lays the groundwork for subsequent phases, where the Parks Foundation of Palm Beach County, Inc., a non-profit organization, will facilitate future installations through an ongoing partnership and continued contributions.

With a grand total of 133 playgrounds under its purview, Palm Beach County's department is eager to continue this journey, the goal is not only to meet the immediate needs of those with distinctive communication requirements but moreover to perpetuate a spirit of acceptance and equality across its entire park system. The gesture is simple in its form, but the message is profound: parks in Palm Beach County are a communal ground, where the silent speech finds voice and the overlooked find visibility.

Miami-Community & Society