“Will, why doesn’t Newport Beach offer programming for adults with special needs?” A family friend whose son fit the question asked me that at a wedding two years ago. I didn’t have the answer, so my friend and I met with our City’s Recreation & Senior Services Director Laura Detweiler (who, by the way, is awesome). In no time, our Newport Navigator included programming for adults with special needs. What has started with one class has grown to a full page, which I hope to expand in coming years.
Of course, this isn’t the first or last time we will help our special needs families. Our Police Department annually hosts Tip-A-Cop events raising funds for our Special Olympians. And we also acted as a guinea pig two years ago to host a new Hometown event benefitting our Special Olympians. Now in its third year, this program has raised tens of thousands of dollars and brings our community together in a unique and beautiful way.
Plus, our parks are becoming more friendly too. Thanks to a sixth grader’s presentation to the Council, we have installed our City’s first ADA swing in Coastal Peak Park. Our renovation of Grant Howald Park will include ADA-friendly playground equipment. We should all be proud!