UNCW, ACCESS Form Partnership to Offer Programs at the Miracle Field

Saturday, May 17, 2014

On Saturday, May 17, UNCW Provost Denise Battles, Charles Hardy, dean of the College of Health and Human Services, and UNCW associate professor Dan Johnson signed a Memorandum of Agreement establishing a formal relationship between UNCW and Coastal Carolina Events Sports and Services (ACCESS) of Wilmington.

This new partnership will allow UNCW to develop programs for students that will include volunteer work, service learning and community engagement.

"UNCW is all about serving individuals, families and communities in Southeastern North Carolina," Hardy said. "We are committed to the health and well-being of this region."

Founded in 2008, ACCESS is a non-profit organization that provides accessible recreational activities to persons with disabilities while creating an environment that is inclusive to people of all abilities. As ACCESS chair, Johnson led a collaborative effort to open the Miracle Field and Playground last August at Olsen Park.

"This is the only Miracle Field in the nation partnering with a university and working with a recreation therapy program," Johnson said. "We're going to become a national model for extraordinary things."

ACCESS exists to provide an opportunity for those who have not yet had the chance to experience the power of play and the joy of sports and to show the importance of inclusion within a community. Battles noted that the university's programming will include youth sports, opportunities for wounded warriors and activities for senior citizens.

"Truly, this partnership will bridge across our community," Battles said.