Variety Children’s Charity of Greater Kansas City provides children with developmental disabilities the adaptive equipment and opportunities needed for activity and inclusion.
Variety the Children’s Charity of Kansas City has served this community for over 85 years. A volunteer driven organization, Variety KC serves the five-county area of metro KC, primarily Jackson County, MO and Wyandotte County, KS.
In addition to individual grants and gifts for children with special needs and their families (i.e. wheelchairs, communication devices, mobility equipment, van ramps), Variety focuses on the #inclusionrevolution and creating the most inclusive community in the nation. Assisting over 100,000 KC kids each year.
Examples of Inclusive Highlights Variety KC
Variety KC builds inclusive, more than merely adaptive and ADA compliant, community venues:
Variety KC Inclusive Ball Parks in Independence, MO and Olathe, KS
Variety KC Inclusive Playgrounds 9 total in Tiffany Springs-MO, Leawood-KS, Hospital Hill in KCMO, Raymore-MO, Wyandotte County-KS, Olathe-KS, KCMO and KCK.
Variety KC Splash Park – first inclusive splash park in area
Inclusive Hockey – first inclusive hockey and ice-skating equipment and opportunities at Sabates Ice Arena, Independence – MO.
Nation’s first inclusive Zoo – KCMO. Variety KC Sensory area, fully inclusive family Variety KC Exploration Play area, sensory kits for check-out. Adaptive golf-cart for wheelchairs, transporting children and families to zoo exhibits.
First Inclusive Variety KC Treehouse – through an innovative ramp system, all kids can experience an elevated treehouse at Wonderscope Children’s Museum, Raytown-MO. Assisted them with Inclusive efforts for new Museum.
First Inclusive Soccer Venue – Children’s Mercy Park and Sporting KC, Victory Project. The park now hosts several universal changing tables and a Variety KC sensory area to provide relief for children who may become overwhelmed. We have several Variety KC Communication Boards and Sensory kits for families to use for free.
Kauffman Center for Performing Arts – Variety KC Universal changing tables for older children and adults. Sensory area and sensory kits. (Families won’t visit venues if bathroom facilities aren’t available within a two-hour block of time. One of four families have a member with a disability of some form. Something as simple as the dignity of restroom facilities opens opportunities for thousands of families who previously could not attend. Variety Sensory Kits and an inclusive plan on the website for attendees.
Inclusive Theatre – Spinning Tree, Theatre League partners with Variety Kc to provide opportunities for children with special needs to perform on stage.
Starlight Theatre – Inclusive venue changes. Universal changing tables for older children and adults. Access through wheelchair-adapted golf cart. Sensory area and sensory kits.
Inclusive Movies – B&B Theatre Change. Launched nationwide initiative to bring Variety sensory kits into theatres to insure children with sensory issues can sit and enjoy a movie.
Nation’s first full-facility harness system – B.E. Smith Family Center at Shawnee Mission Medical Center. Variety KC provided an overhead harness system allowing for safe therapy and the ability for a single therapist to work with more than one patient at a time.
First in Nation, Harness Cafes – installed in Liberty Middle schools. Overhead harness system allows students to work in an upright position, freeing the use of both arms in a working cafe along with able- bodied peers..
Think of Me parking initiative. Signs featuring Variety KC Kids to remind drivers to leave disabled parking spaces open for those who need them, implemented at all KCMO parking lots and garages.
Inclusive Shopping Carts – Hy-Vee stores
Inclusive Beach Access wheelchair assist – Lake Olathe
Go-Baby-Go Projects – building over 300 adaptive ride-on cars with local robotic teams, and therapy students.
Pop-up harness projects with various not-for-profit therapy centers throughout the area.
Inclusive photography shoots – Award-winning photographer Colleen Christi takes elaborate photos of Variety KC, demonstrating the importance of using all children in marketing efforts and showcases the beauty of all kids.
First Ever exercise videos for children with special needs and all kids. Available online for free – for all.
YMCA – universal changing table for pool restroom/changing area.