Apple Donates $250K to Sponsor 'Innovation Zone' in Accessibility-Focused Playground Coming to Sunnyvale

The Magical Bridge Foundation, which helps build playgrounds for children and adults with disabilities and special needs, this week announced that Apple will help fund the foundation's latest playground, located in Sunnyvale, California's Fair Oaks Park. Magical Bridge Foundation's playgrounds are located in select communities in the Bay Area, including Mountain View, Morgan Hill, Palo Alto, and Redwood City.

Apple's contribution to the playground will come in the form of a $250,000 donation and mark the company as a sponsor of an "Innovation Zone" section of the park. Magical Bridge Foundation describes this area as "a dynamic space within the Sunnyvale playground for people of all ages and abilities to meet, learn, explore, create and build new and diverse relationships."

magical bridge apple sponsor playground

Clockwise from top left: The Innovation Zone, Kindness Corner, Playhouse + Playstage, and Tot Zone

Apple's sponsored Innovation Zone is said to lie "at the heart" of the new playground's leading edge concepts.

Capturing the innovative spirit of Silicon Valley, the Innovation Zone provides unique and interactive play experiences utilizing technology, art and design that stimulates the full array of human senses in an entirely new way.

“The dream to build magical spaces where people of all abilities can feel freedom of play has become a reality because companies like Apple and our other partners are so committed to this community, its residents and visitors,” Magical Bridge co-founder Olenka Villarreal said. “The joy is contagious. Magical Bridge Playgrounds are changing neighborhoods, cities, and soon, the country through truly inclusive play.”

Magical Bridge Foundation is still collecting contributions for the playground, and if it raises its goal of $3.3 million it will begin construction on the Sunnyvale location in fall 2018, with a public opening aimed for 2020. Other tech companies have also announced sponsored areas in the playground, including LinkedIn's $150,000 sponsorship of the "Kindness Corner." Other play zones, like a Tot Zone, Spin Zone, and Playhouse + Playstage, are still available for sponsorship.


Apple has long been a proponent of accessibility within its software and through the selling of hardware accessories in its online and retail stores. The company has annually celebrated events like Autism Acceptance Month and Accessibility Awareness Day, and in 2015 was honored as a recipient of a Helen Keller Achievement Award from the American Foundation for the Blind for the company's accessibility efforts, particularly VoiceOver's ability to give vision-impaired users access to iOS devices.

Top Rated Comments

ActionableMango Avatar
38 months ago
So much criticism. Some kids were helped and their lives are better. That's a good thing.


Meanwhile there are illiterate children in Oakland.

Yes, and there are kids even worse off than that, like homeless kids. And there are kids even worse of than that, like malnourished kids. That's the fallacy of relative privation.

There are probably hundreds of millions of people in the world that are worse off than people I've personally helped. It doesn't mean I shouldn't have helped the people that I did.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AlliFlowers Avatar
38 months ago
I love this! Accessibility has been overlooked lately.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Baymowe335 Avatar
38 months ago

250k too little for apple ;)

What would be enough for you? How about $0?
[doublepost=1520357460][/doublepost]

Apple executives look making a minor donation to look good, and the tax lawyers add this item to the long list of Corporate Tax Deductions that they already claim.
Considering the large number of apple employees that live in the area, there are likely to be some that have family members with special needs. So the reality is that this will be to the benefit of some apple employees.
This is really about helping out Apple.

Please give me a break. $250k is $250k. Stop being so cynical. Even if it is self serving, who cares...it still helps.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ThunderSkunk Avatar
38 months ago
Investing $250k in Sunnyvale?
Can't wait to see Julian and Ricky turn this into a smashing success!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
palmerc2 Avatar
38 months ago

Investing $250k in Sunnyvale?
Can't wait to see Julian and Ricky turn this into a smashing success!

Sunnyvale’s finest!! I’m sure they’ll use their book learnings smarts on investimentals wisely and not mess this up, Ricky.

Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jstiner Avatar
38 months ago

Playgrounds for people with disabilities are prefectly ok, this looks pretty dang cool (minus some of the obnoxious politically correct language). My only question is, 3.3 million dollars - is it gold plated?

The issue is that much of the accessible playground equipment is either custom or not made at large enough volumes to bring down the cost. We took our son to one in Myrtle Beach and the accessible zip line (AWESOME!) cost almost $300,000.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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