The winners have been announced for the Santa Monica Disabilities Commission’s poster contest in celebration of October as Disabilities Awareness Month.
The contest was open to all kindergarten through 12th grade students who live or attend school in Santa Monica.
The theme was “Let’s Play!” in support of Santa Monica’s first universally accessible playground now under design.
Universally accessible playgrounds are spaces where children of all abilities can play side by side, as well as parents with disabilities and seniors.
Santa Monica’s playground will be located by the beach at Ashland Avenue. It is anticipated that construction will begin in late summer 2012.
Free from the limitations of conventional ideas on accessibility, the children’s nearly 300 poster submissions invited everyone to enter giant sea animals, to board boats and pirate ships with fully accessible helms, and to swing in their wheelchairs on a squid’s tentacles alongside other children.
Wheelchair ramps were painted in rainbow colors and became giant surfboards, gangplanks and waves that lead to the top of an accessible water slide.
“Peeking inside these kids’ minds was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in reimagining what accessible looks like,” said Santa Monica Disabilities Commissioner David Geffen. “We were so pleased to get so many creative, inclusive submissions from kids of all ages, abilities, and grades – the final decision on the winners was very tough!” added Commissioner Chris Knauf.
Winning posters are currently on display at City Hall through Nov.
The ten Grand Prize winners will be displayed as banners at the new beachside playground during construction.
Winners will also be recognized at an upcoming Disabilities Commission meeting.
Grand Prize Winners:
Montague “Monty” Oxman Kindergarten
Luna Maghloubi 1st Grade
Julia Carlson 2nd Grade
Grace Hunzicker 4th Grade
Hugo Maida 4th Grade
Miraclestar Doby 5th Grade
Karen Hoffman 6th Grade
Hyerhee Seo 7th Grade
Matthew Kimura 11th Grade
Lana Saykali 11th Grade
Bibi Peterson Kindergarten
Kira Little 1st Grade
Constance Andrews 2nd Grade
Estella Szasz 2nd Grade
Mason Hackmann 3rd Grade
Nick Ghaffarian 4th Grade
Lily Alignazideh 5th Grade
Malikhi Ly 7th Grade
Arielle Kronovet 11th Grade
Tristan Leigh 11th Grade