Vancouver is famous for its lovely beaches – beaches that are largely inaccessible to those who rely on a wheelchair for their mobility.
At Pacific Medical Law we understand the challenges that wheelchair users and their families can experience when trying to engage in recreational activities. That’s why we were excited to learn that the Vancouver Park Board is launching a pilot project to improve beach accessibility. Beginning in August a fixed mat will be installed at the English Bay bath house, running down to the water all the way down to the low tide line. Complete with several connected platforms, the hope is that wheelchair users can be joined by friends and family for a day of fun in the sun.
This pilot project will run until the end of the summer, and if it proves to be a success, more mats will be installed at other beaches for the summer of 2018.
Some equipment is already available in Vancouver to improve beach accessibility. At the Kitsilano lifeguard station a rolled-up mat is available, but it must be requested in advance of use. Both Jericho Beach and English Bay offer a wheelchair designed for beach and water use, with big tires to negotiate the sand. The difficulty with all of this equipment is that the wheelchair user must rely on lifeguard staff to be available to provide the equipment. The great thing about the Mobi-mat is that once it is installed it will be available all day, every day, removing one of the complications that a wheelchair user and their family must grapple with in order to enjoy a day at the beach!
Read more about the Mobi-mat system here:
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