children playing in water park

Splish, splash

children playing in water park

Photo courtesy of Robin Jerstad/Jerstad Photographics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Morgan’s Inspiration Island water park, high-tech, air-powered waterproof wheelchairs provide a place for people of all abilities to play. It is the only water park that offers these innovative wheelchair designs for users.

The 80-pound wheelchair designs are easy to modify and run on compressed air—perfect for mobility and easy use in the wet environment. The water park is a part of Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio, an ultra-accessible amusement park built to accommodate people with special needs.

“Mobility has always been my passion,” said Ana Allegretti, Ph.D., OTR, assistant professor of occupational therapy.

Before the waterpark opened in 2017, Dr. Allegretti and her occupational therapy students helped train park employees and volunteers on making adjustments to the three types of waterproof wheelchairs, which include rigid models for those who can propel themselves independently, a reclining style and pneumatic chairs powered by compressed air. The wheelchair valets learn how to seat guests and use accessories properly; each model can be modified to fit any accessories necessary to meet the guests’ needs.

The partnership between the School of Health Professions and the park has continued, and Dr. Allegretti offers training for the wheelchair valets and volunteers for the water park prior to the opening of each summer season.

Dr. Allegretti was recently selected as a Wall of Fame honoree at the park in recognition of her work enabling mobility.

“This is not just a water park that everybody can come to,” she said. “It is so much more. The social interactions that happen are just beautiful.”

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