Multi-assistance center takes inclusion to the next level

SAN ANTONIO — Morgan’s Wonderland is the starting point, not the culmination, for philanthropist Gordon Hartman’s vision of making San Antonio a leading city in accessibility and inclusion.

The ultra-accessible theme park draws visitors from around the world, providing an optimistic and inclusive family experience, one augmented by Morgan’s Wonderland Camp and, most recently, the revolutionary Multi-Assistance Center, or MAC.

Unveiled in September, the $45 million, 165,000-square-foot facility is the perfect complement to Morgan’s Wonderland. While the theme park offers fun and interactive experiences for all, the MAC serves as a one-stop shop for the services that support people with special needs and their families.

In this center, at Wurzbach Parkway and Thousand Oaks Drive, families of those with special needs can connect with some 30 community-based organizations for medical and dental appointments, therapy sessions and legal meetings. People with disabilities and special needs will be able to receive haircuts, manicures and other services.

This could be a game changer for families caring for loved ones with special needs. It potentially means having access to all services in one place, rather than disparate parts of the community. It also opens the door to better coordinated care among providers. For those with special needs, simply having access to a physical space with appropriate accommodations — think of extra-wide doorways to allow for wheelchairs, sound-absorbing floors, family restrooms with adult changing stations and showers — reflects monumental change.

Hartman has been a fierce advocate for inclusion, leading the charge to make San Antonio “Inclusion City, USA.” What he has accomplished with the MAC is extraordinary and is worthy of public support. It also has the potential to be replicated in every major American city.

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