Saturday, August 31, 2013

Accessibility for Attendees with Physical Disabilities

Based on our experience with the 2013 reunion, we would like to provide some information regarding our location and activities for families who may have members with physical disabilities, including those affecting their mobility.  We hope that this information will be helpful to you in determining whether or not our event is a good fit for your family.  In 2013, we had adults and children with a variety of physical disabilities successfully navigate our reunion grounds, but we understand that no two people are alike and what may be feasible for one person may not be so for another.

Hamilton County Parks in Cincinnati, Ohio have a four-level classification system for accessibility as follows:

·         Level 1: Considered fully accessible and meets architectural standards for handicap accessibility. Level 1 sites include Visitor Centers, Ranger stations, snack bars, restrooms, numerous picnic areas and paved trails. There is at least one Level 1 facility at each developed park.
·         Level 2: Usable to disabled persons, but may include inconveniences.
·         Level 3: Difficult to use by disabled persons; assistance may be required. These sites include facilities which are located in difficult terrain.
·         Level 4: Undeveloped section of the park; inaccessible to most disabled persons.

Winton Woods Park Campground  in the Hamilton County, Ohio parks system has a Level 1 handicap accessible public restroom which is found about 530 feet from our reunion grounds.  You may drive or walk to this restroom on paved roads, including a slight hill up/down.  There is also a fully accessible cabin with a bathroom located directly on the reunion grounds.  If you let us know ahead of time, we will try to make arrangements with the family renting this cabin to allow use of their bathroom for your family member with a physical disability if this would be preferable to you.

This is the hill connecting the main road with the reunion grounds.  While it is difficult to capture its grade of steepness in photos, here it is pictured from two angles:

The Level 1 restroom and shower at the Winton Woods campground:

If you use the shower house and restrooms designed for the general public, this is what you will find:

 This is the Level 1 handicap accessible cabin located directly on the reunion grounds:

As reunion organizers, we will make every effort to arrange for a parking space for families affected by physical disabilities directly at our reunion location.  There are two larger handicap parking spots available and we will prioritize them for attendees with mobility issues.  Just let us know prior to the reunion that you would like one of these spots and we will assign them on a first come, first served basis.

The surfaces you will find at the reunion grounds include paved roads and grassy areas.  The paved roads are smooth, however, the grassy areas are somewhat uneven.  There is a maximum of a 3 inch, ungraduated step down from the road onto the grassy areas where we we serve and eat our meals and hold most of the activities.

Considering the wide spectrum of special needs represented in our group (anything from limb differences to hearing impairments to cognitive/developmental disabilities), we understand that not every child is going to be able to participate in every activity that we provide.  However, we are and have always been committed to making sure that each child will be able to be a part of at least one game and craft on each Friday and Saturday should he/she so choose.  While many of our young attendees enjoy being on the move, we also offer seated activities that may include t-shirt decorating, a variety of arts/crafts, face-painting, cultural presentations, and card games.  For more information on next year’s reunion activities, please check our reunion blog in the coming months.  If you have ideas for activities suitable to children of all abilities and ages, please feel free to leave a comment here or email us at

Many of the children and teens attending the reunion enjoy riding bikes, tricycles, skateboards, etc. on the reunion grounds.  We do realize that this causes some dangerous traffic conditions, particularly at meal times and while activities are in progress.  Therefore, the 2014 reunion will feature certain hours during which these activities will not be permitted on the reunion grounds.  This new arrangement should make things safer for all of us, including those with physical disabilities.

Our reunion weekend always features family time from about noon to 4:30 pm on Saturdays.  Families use this time to rest, have lunch, and explore the park.  Many families visit the wet playground at Winton Woods, but you are in no way required to participate in this activity if it is not suitable for your family.  Instead, feel free to check out the other playgrounds at the park or explore the two easy, paved trails that are Level 1 accessible (Harbor Trail and West Loop) and on which (power-driven) mobility devices are permitted.  For more information, please visit

If you have any further questions regarding access or activities, do not hesitate to contact us directly at  We, the organizers of this reunion, are parenting children with physical and developmental disabilities ourselves and will try to address any concerns on these matters.  However, please understand that we do face certain locational and financial limits in what we can do to accommodate each attendee's individual needs.  It's up to each family to decide if our reunion is a good fit and how to make the most of it for its children.