Arlington Citizen-Journal

No fooling: April Cools’ Day in Arlington is a fun event, and no one gets left out

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Everybody needs a day of fun, and this one is pretty cool.

The IDD Council of Tarrant County will host its third annual April Cools’ Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 6 at Randol Mill Park, 1901 W. Randol Mill Road in Arlington.

The IDD Council is a coalition of agencies and families focused on inclusion in the community for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. IDD is used for diagnosis with cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism and others.

April Cools’ Day is a free event that offers activities for children and adults with IDD and is open to all families. Activities include face painting, bean bag toss, sensory games, pictures with the Easter Bunny, bubbles and more.

“They’ve got things for kids of all abilities. It’s a great community event,” said Matt Cobb, whose son, William, enjoys the annual event. “We have our Miracle League (baseball) games in Randol Mill Park, so we’ll play go over there.”

William is in a wheelchair. Randol Mill Park has an inclusive playground, which is designed to allow children with disabilities to play alongside able-bodied youngsters.

“William really enjoys being out there. We wheel him up to that playground and he just loves it,” Cobb said.

The event will also include an inclusive egg hunt with approximately 9,000 eggs hidden.

Rita Stevenson, Executive Director, The IDD Council of Tarrant County, said a crowd of around 1,000 is expected. She said that though March is National Developmental Disabilities Month, the event is being held in April because of the anticipation of warmer weather.

“There’s over 100,000 in Tarrant County alone with an IDD diagnosis, and many go without services,” Stevenson said. “Parents are overwhelmed to get services for children. They’re financially strained. This provides them with a fun outing for all.”

The event is also an opportunity for participants to get acquainted with first responders and police officers, and vice-versa. The hope is through interaction a comfort will be established.

“It’s great for those kids to know those community helpers,” Cobb said.

“It’s such an exciting event, and I want to thank all who help. We couldn’t do it without them,” Stevenson said.

The IDD Council is also seeking sponsors to provide snacks, drinks, volunteers, prizes and activity booths for the event. Anyone interested should email Stevenson at Rita@IDDCouncil.org.

Event partners include the City of Arlington, Arlington Police Department, Arlington Fire Department and numerous organizations that provide services for people with disabilities in Tarrant County.

For more information about April Cools’ Day, “like” IDD Council on Facebook or visit www.IDDCouncil.org.

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