Until recently, no handicapped swing sets for children appeared to be available in the United States. An article published on the Fox 2 St. Louis website shows that recently, a handicapped swing set was added to a playground in Union, MO. The swing itself was manufactured in Australia, and through community donations, enough was raised to purchase the swing set for $23,000 AUD (about $15,000 USD). The company, called Liberty Swings in the video with the article, is apparently the first to make a handicapped swing set. In Missouri, this particular swing set is the first for handicapped children.
How does one of these handicapped swings work? As seen in the video, the design operates much like a glider when pushed by a parent or other adult. For a child in a wheelchair, a ramp is attached to the scoop-shaped swing seat and the child can wheel himself into the swing and get strapped inside. In terms of using it for handicapped children and adults, the swing is designed to be long enough for a child in a lying position in a wheelchair. Other handicapped individuals unable to use or play on standard swings have the option of using the Liberty Swing, as well, by an attached seat inside the larger, scoop-shaped swing. At the moment, this particular swing is available in public playgrounds but not yet for home playgrounds.
If you’re able to come up with the $15,000 USD for one of these play sets, however, a Liberty Swing could be in your backyard. But, unlike gliders and other wider swing set designs, a Liberty Swing shouldn’t be attached to a standard swing set if it can’t support the weight. According to the website for Liberty Swing, the swing meets all safety requirements, has a locking device when not in use, and can be distributed worldwide.