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Cause Area

  • Advocacy & Human Rights
  • Children & Youth
  • Community


1295 Beacon St, #89BROOKLINE, MA 02446 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

We’re a brigade of volunteers, corporations and community leaders dedicated to creating opportunities for inclusive play, recreation, and sports, where everyone participates and belongs, regardless of age or ability. Not for profit, but for the common good.


Justin and Dawn Oates’ daughter Harper was born with a debilitating spinal cord injury at birth. In the beginning, "she can’t...," haunted them. But as she grew they realized, what she could do eclipsed what she couldn’t. And she began to play. But with Harper, they quickly learned that "wheelchair accessible" might mean a ramp to get in, but not shared access to the equipment, her friends, or the fun. So, shaping activities where all children could feel included and play together became The Play Brigade’s mission. And it’s working.

We’ve already influenced the design of several local playgrounds so they have universal appeal to all children, including those whose diagnoses might otherwise leave them on the sidelines. We’ve discovered that keeping the idea of inclusion at the center of the planning process allows everyone to brainstorm freely. To find new, more thoughtful ways to approach "typical" play.

We invite you to join us in continuing to write and rewrite the story. In this story, exclusion loses. Life wins.


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