Playground initiative marks 50 years of Ohio State's Nisonger Center
Rodney French and his daughter, Kayle, have benefited greatly from the Nisonger Center TOPS program, which helps adults with developmental disabilities obtain employment and build life skills after high school. Rodney has had such a positive experience at Nisonger that he jumped at the opportunity to participate in the groundbreaking for a playground intended for the center's Early Childhood Education Program.
The Playground Initiative coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Nisonger Center in spring 2016. The objective is to raise $300,000 to build a playground of more than 12,000 square feet. The Columbus Foundation has agreed to match $100,000 for construction, and in-kind donations have been made by Ohio Operating Engineers, the Cement Masons and Service Supply Ltd.
The Nisonger Center was created in 1966 as an interdisciplinary program funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The center is named for Herschel W. Nisonger (1890–1969), an Ohio State professor who devoted his life to the field of mental health and intellectual disabilities. It has since become one of the leading authorities on behavioral research in children and adults with developmental disabilities. It continues to provide high-quality education, transition and adult life services to children and adults with developmental disabilities, their families and service providers.
Integrating research, training, service and outreach is central to the center's mission. For more information about donating to the Nisonger Center, please visit our online giving page.