After two years of planning and months of construction, Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center opened its new therapeutic playground on Monday. Joseph Cozzo, president of Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center, along with employees and students will cut a ceremonial ribbon to celebrate the grand opening of the newly installed playground at the BHSC Buffalo campus, located at 50 E North Street, in the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
The new playground was designed by a team of physical and occupational therapists with each piece of equipment fulfilling the diverse needs of the students at BHSC. Over 200 children with various disabilities attend Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center each day to learn, to grow and have fun.
"Play is a very important part of the childhood experience. Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center recognizes that that act of playing is where children are able to explore, discover, create and imagine, while learning about the world around them firsthand," said Cozzo. "This new playground is designed to offer our student the opportunity to have fun, and where play activities reinforce therapeutic goals."
The therapeutic playground structure consists of a large multicolored play system built on a safe rubberized surface that can accommodate the different needs of students. The new playground offers a cohesive, natural environment where children are content and comfortable while they develop social skills at a level appropriate for them. The playground offers multiple varieties of sensory play experience so that children of all abilities are able to play and learn. By supporting the sensory needs of all children, the playground enhances individual development in ways that cannot be achieved by standard methods.
Support for the project was generously provided by KeyBank Foundation, the Buffalo Sabres Foundation, the Rotary Club of Buffalo, DreamCatcher Foundation, the Buffalo Bills Youth Foundation and nearly 100 other individual donors from the Western New York community.
Image: Joe Cozzo of Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center along with Alex Wehr, Marie Hare and Gary Quenneville from KeyBank.