My Name is Heather Weitz and I am an educator at an early intervention centre for children with special needs.
I chose a career in education because I am passionate about making a difference in the lives of children, more specifically those who have special needs.
Our school have outings once a term, and every term it has become a hassle to find the perfect venue to take our children to, we have been to almost all of the play venues in Port Elizabeth and most of the time our kids are easily bored. There is just not enough stimulation for them.
This made me think and realise that our city is not doing enough to cater for our children’s playful needs.
I look at the schools which cater for special needs, more specifically the physically impaired, and it saddens me that firstly there is not enough LSEN schools in our city and secondly that their playgrounds do not all cater for our physically impaired children.
Places like Aurora who receives funding, have a few equipment which cater for them and serves a purpose, however, upon inspection, they only have the wheel chair accessible swings.
Then there are schools such as Happy dale and Miracle kids, to name a few, who have nothing.
Educational resources and experienced LSEN teachers is a problem in our City, this issue is being and Probably has been addressed for such a long time now, let us not take away the ability of our children to be free and playful, after all, this is how they learn best.
With all of that said, I have come up with a solution, an Idea which I feel strongly about.
We need a company in Port Elizabeth who could provide specialised playground equipment for the less fortunate schools in the Eastern Cape.
This is how I came up with the name, “Rock the Impairment”.
Impairment is a word which describes a person who has a disability, physically or developmentally.
My goal is for us to overcome and block the stigma by helping our kids “rock” their impairments to the best of their ABILITY and to identify the barriers which prevent children with disabilities from using play spaces and then to find ways of overcoming them.
Rock the impairment would provide each and every less fortunate school in The Eastern Cape with playground equipment, free of charge, provided they have passed the application process.
I do not earn enough money to fund this project myself. I am therefore asking for the assistance of government organisations and companies who wish to be a part of this amazing initiative.
Initially, my goal was to open a playground, with all of this equipment and make it freely accessible to the public; however, I feel that we need to water our thirsty plants first if we wish to see our garden grow.