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Living Desert Zoo & Gardens celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Saturday marks the 30th annual International Day of Persons with disabilities, and to celebrate the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens hosted a disability resource fair.

Alma and her sister, Martha Gomez were among the attendees.

Alma has been her sister's caregiver for the past five years and says Martha enjoys social outings and activities.

"This is our first time. We were actually just hoping to see animals, but this is awesome," says Alma Gomez.

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens hosted about 20 different organizations that brought resources and activities for the families. Among them was 'So Cal Adaptive Sports.'

Michael Rosenkrantz with 'So Cal Adaptive Sports' says, "It's vital to celebrate this kind of day to recognize the abilities of people."

People were able to partake in Boccia ball, the paralympic equivalent of Bocce ball.

There was also the option to try out wheelchair basketball.

"It's giving people that experience of what it's like to push in a sport wheelchair, I mean, that's really good for understanding, for creating a lot more empathy, for leveling the playing field, and also for, you know, creating a lot more inclusive society," says Rosenkrantz.

This is the second year the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens has celebrated International Day of Persons with disabilities, and families like the Gomez sisters are thankful for the event.

"I'm just grateful to everyone out here today, to the Living Desert obviously because they set it up, but all these people coming out today is tremendous," says Alma Gomez.

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens recently became a certified Autism Center, and they offer accessible resources and activities throughout the year.

You can plan your next visit and make accommodations by contacting the Living Desert Zoo at 760-346-5694, ext. 2134 or email GuestServices@LivingDesert.org. 

You can also visit this website, www.livingdesert.org/visit/visitor-information and hit the accessibility tab for more information.

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Bianca Ventura

Bianca Ventura joined KESQ News Channel 3 as a reporter in February 2022.
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