Inspiration for Nettie Says
Nettie Faith Martz lived a beautiful, meaningful and inspirational life, yet tragically short, as she passed away at the age of 10 and half years old. Nettie taught the world about love, inclusion, selflessness, active participation in all activities, optimism, perseverance, hard work and hope. Nettie utilized a customized wheelchair for mobility that required head and neck support, required a g-tube for feeding, a cochlear implant for hearing, customized sunglasses for seeing, hand, back, leg braces for stability, and communication devices. Nettie loved to be with her family and cherished the togetherness. She was the inspiration for a fully inclusive playground for all children to play in Teaneck, New Jersey which led to the establishment of the Nettie Says Organization.
Active inclusion for people with varying abilities should be a standard for all educational and recreational activities. All playgrounds, schools, and clubs should support active engagement of all people. Having basic access to a playground or club is not enough. Ensuring active play, inclusion and involvement is the goal of Nettie Says.
The American Disabilities Act although was a good step in the right direction in 1990, still requires more sophistication and specification to ensure full support of all children and adults with varying abilities. No person should ever sit on the sidelines of life. All people deserve a chance to be in the midst of activity and enjoy the activities of life.