FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2.5-acre park designed for individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities
LAS VEGAS – On Wednesday, May 11, Sean’s Park, a 2.5-acre innovative life-learning park developed for children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities will open at Opportunity Village’s Ralph and Betty Engelstad Campus.
The first of its kind in the U.S., Sean’s Park will offer Opportunity Village clients and other members of the community with disabilities new life-skills building equipment such as a “live” street crosswalk and stop light to promote safety. Other activities include a way-finding path, moonwalk pad, a full size bowling lane and several other park features. The Liberty Swing at Sean’s Park, a unique swing-set designed to enable individuals to swing while in a wheelchair, provides the individuals that Opportunity Village serves (OVIPs) the feeling of freedom of movement. The park will encourage conceptual learning, personal awareness, physical activity and social learning. Sean’s Park is a private facility; public interested in visiting should call (702) 262-1550 for details.
Different learning areas will include a creative arts plaza, designated gardening area, and a play area, which is completely ADA accessible, including a drop-shot basketball area, and many additional programs and activities. The majority of the equipment at Sean’s Park will serve multiple purposes, such as the 18-hole miniature golf course, which will also be utilized as a maze and Frisbee golf course. Display cases have been installed to showcase art created by OVIPs from the Fine Art Program.
Sean’s Park will serve as an extension of the programs offered at Opportunity Village and provide OVIPs diverse activities that promote and encourage growth and independence. Besides serving as an outdoor resource and learning area for OVIPs, Opportunity Village will also host special events onsite and rent the park out to the public for private events in the future.
“This unique and state-of-the-art park is a testament to children and adults who deserve to have a park with equipment and activities they can benefit from, where differences are overlooked and potential is celebrated. After several years of researching, planning and fundraising, Sean’s Park is the only of its kind and will be a place where children and adults with life challenges can learn, play and enjoy a place of their own,” said Linda Smith, Senior Executive Vice President at Opportunity Village.
Recognized worldwide for setting precedence in care, service and programs for people with intellectual disabilities, Opportunity Village envisioned the park eight years ago and now the dream has turned into a reality. With a generous donation from Opportunity Village board member Mike Morrissey and his wife Patty, a Clark County Community Development Block Grant and a grant from the Windsong Foundation Trust in 2008, the research and planning for Sean’s Park began. Sean Morrissey, an OVIP in the Opportunity Village Fine and Performing Arts Program and namesake of Sean’s Park, assisted in the groundbreaking ceremony that took place on Tuesday, June 23, 2015, along with Opportunity Village executives and board members, Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak, Mike and Patty Morrissey, and Vadim Fridman from the Windsong Foundation Trust.
About Opportunity Village
Mission: Opportunity Village is a not-for-profit organization that serves people within our community with significant intellectual disabilities, to improve their lives and the lives of their families.
Opportunity Village was founded in 1954 by seven families who were determined to give their children with disabilities the best lives possible. Now, more than 60 years later, Opportunity Village is one of the most recognized and respected organizations of its type in the United States.
Nevada’s largest employer of people with disabilities (who we call OVIPs), Opportunity Village serves nearly 3,000 individuals annually, providing vocational training, employment, habilitation and social recreation programs and services that make their lives more purposeful and interesting.
Opportunity Village citizens – individuals who were previously considered unemployable – work at Opportunity Village’s Employment Resource Centers and in jobs throughout the community, collectively earning wages amounting to more than $3.9 million in 2014. They are hard-working and diligent, proudly paying taxes and happily leading more fulfilling lives.
Primarily a self-funded organization, Opportunity Village generates the majority of its operational funding through its employment contracts and fundraising efforts such as the Magical Forest and Great Santa Run, saving Nevada taxpayers nearly $35 million annually.
# # #