News from the Northwest ADA Center – Idaho
ACCESS TO THE BEACH
It’s summer and who among us doesn’t wish to sit on the beach and sip something cool? For people with disabilities, a beach wheelchair can help them achieve that. Beach Wheelchairs are all-terrain wheelchairs or transport chairs that are able to navigate through difficult
terrain such as sand or the beach that would not be accessible by a standard wheelchair. These mobility aids typically have large balloon size tires that disperse weight over a much larger area. Some models even float!
People with disabilities that enjoy the beach use these non-motorized wheelchairs to access bordering outdoor water activities. Several different versions of beach wheelchairs have been designed including pool wheelchairs, sand wheelchairs, and aquatic wheelchairs. They usually require users to be accompanied by someone pushing them, although several California locations offer motorized chairs which may be self-propelled. Typically, visitors may borrow the chairs on a first-come, first-served basis, at beaches or rental shops. Some beaches also accept reservations.
The Americans With Disabilities Act requires all state and local governments “to give people with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from all of their programs, services and activities.” The A.D.A. doesn’t cover the provision of beach wheelchairs, but another law — the Architectural Barriers Act — applies to national parks with beaches, which must have an access route like a boardwalk or a mat.
You can contact the beach you are interested to go to, and see if they have one.
For more information about the ADA contact:
Dana Gover, MPA, and ACTCP Certification, ADA Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator
For more information about ADA Technical Assistance visit the NW ADA Center Idaho website: nwadacenter.org/idaho
Phone: Voice and Text 208-841-9422
Idaho Relay Service: 7