Parents of children with special needs continue to work for inclusion in all areas of our community.

One organization that advocates for children with Down Syndrome are partnering with a local church to develop a “Play for All” playground.

The hope is that this project will be completed by June 2020.

Kristin Crumb found out hours after the birth of her son that he had down syndrome.

“We had no support in the hospital, no information given,” Crumb said. “In the beginning, it was very upsetting, lonely, you have all these emotions that are very normal, but you didn’t know that at the time.”

Once she met Misti Brock, whose son Axel also has Down Syndrome, she was no longer alone, and it started the idea of the “The Upside”, an organization that advocates for individuals with Down Syndrome and their families.

“We help make sure that they have the resources that they need, therapies and resources through the state and seeing that our little guys are thriving and they can do anything,” Crumb said.

“Also reach out to our medical community because the process for delivering a diagnosis is very dry, it’s very clinical, it’s very unfeeling,” Brock said.

One way the upside is promoting inclusion is partnering with Park Place Christian Church to develop a playground designed for not only typically developing kids but is also equally accessible for those with a disability.

“It is for all the children in the Wichita Falls area, and there isn’t a playground like this within 150 miles,” “Play for All” Project Manager Candy Tucker said. 

The folks with the Upside will host “Accept, Include, Empower 2019” to raise funds toward this project.

“This is kinda like a health festival, it includes vendors and sponsors that are in the health field,” Brock said. “Our goal is to promote inclusion with this event.” 

Brock and Crumb said they hope this will be the first step in the community to better promote inclusion.

The event will kick off Saturday, March 16 with a one-mile fun run, a 5-K run, crazy sock contest and more.

Brock assures the community that the event will end at noon with enough time for everyone to attend and enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day festival downtown.

Online registration is closed, but you can register at Vernon College’s Century City Fitness Center or the day of the event.

For full details, follow this link.