Harris Nature Center Adds New Accessibility Measure
HARRIS NATURE CENTER - Meridian Township’s Parks and Recreation department worked with Able Eyes to improve accessibility to the Harris Nature Center. The nature preserve’s website now features a 360 walkable tour through the facility, which can also be viewed on Google Maps. The tour was made possible through a collaboration with Able Eyes, a company aimed at providing experiences to children and adults with disabilities.
Also available on the website is the ‘Social Story,’ a document designed to prepare visitors for what to expect when visiting the nature center. “This includes sounds the crow may make as you approach the front door, or the sounds of mowers during the summer,” says Kati Adams, Meridian’s Park and Land Preservation Superintendent. “The Social Story lets people know that we have sensory kits available upon request if they need them, and helps them understand everything they will see when they visit.”
The new additions to the nature center’s website are a part of an effort to increase accessibility for all who are looking to visit the preserve, and eliminate the element of surprise many with sensory issues may risk when visiting such an environment. “We hope that having this information ahead of time will make people feel more comfortable,” says Adams. “We hope that our Able Eyes tour as well as the Social Story will encourage others to visit that may have hesitated before for one reason or another.”
“We strive to be accessible to all and these new features are a really great addition to what the Harris Nature Center has to offer," says Kati Adams.