The playground was built in honor of Ryan Derenberger and dedicated to children with exceptional physical and mental challenges living in Collierville and the surrounding area. Although most playgrounds meet ADA accessibility standards, very few are specifically designed for children with disabilities…..wheelchairs get trapped in sandpits and leg braces get caught in narrow pathways. Many times disabled children sit on the sidelines watching as their able-bodied friends and siblings play. Excluding children with disabilities from play environments at an early age leads to social isolation and negatively affects their emotional, cognitive and physical development. Studies have proven that integrated play helps disabled children develop fine and gross motor skills, receptive communication skill,; cerebral functions, physical strength, and social skills, including independence and self esteem. Integrated play also gives able-bodied children the opportunity to experience and accept children with disabilities as equals. Ryan’s Place Universally Accessible Playground is fully accessible and sensory-rich, delighting children of all abilities while providing an integrated place where compassion and acceptance can flourish. This playground gives the entire family a place to play together. While over 14,000 children in Collierville and the surrounding area have a common playground, this project provides 1,000 exceptional-needs peers to play. With that staggering statistic, Ryan’s Place was constructed. With Ryan’s Place being the 3rdplayground like this one in the state, it is the dream that one day soon, there will be no distinction between a regular and universal playground. It will simply be a trip to the park. With Ryan’s Place the children of Collierville and the surrounding area have just that – a trip to the park to play. Ryan’s Place Universal Playground - “Bringing HOPE to Exceptional Needs Families and the Community”.