Delaware State Parks seeks the public’s help to raise funds to make beaches more accessible
DOVER (Dec.10, 2014) – Delaware State Parks is working with the National Recreation and Park Association’s crowd-funding initiative, “Fund Your Park,” to provide inclusive access to Delaware’s ocean beaches for disabled visitors.
Accessibility modifications are required at Delaware Seashore and Fenwick Island State Parks to enable people with disabilities to gain access to the beaches. Funding is planned to install Mobi-Mats – lightweight portable rollout pathways – which provide people with disabilities enhanced mobility and access.
The ADA-compliant mats create traction over sand and are a safe and effective beach access tool for people of all levels of mobility, as well as those with visual impairments. Easily installed and maintained, the Mobi-Mats help provide an inclusive environment at Delaware’s state beaches.
Additionally, Delaware State Parks is looking at purchasing specialized beach wheelchairs, which enable wheelchair users to get closer to the ocean, since Mobi-Mats don’t extend to the tide line. Beach wheelchairs are equipped with large and wide hard-plastic wheels that roll across the sand without sinking – enabling people with disabilities an enhanced recreational experience.
Delaware has 56,000 people with some form of disability. Disability is a natural part of the human experience and overcoming the barriers disabled people face with simple solutions or adaptions to the built environment is something individuals of all abilities can support.
DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation’s mission is to ensure that the public lands it has been entrusted to preserve are accessible and affordable to all segments of society. The addition of beach wheel chairs and Mobi-Mats would enhance the recreational experience for wheelchair users and promote inclusiveness on public lands.
Delaware State Parks’ “Providing Accessibility to Beach Visitors of All Abilities” Crowd-Funding Campaign is open until Jan. 8, 2015. People can donate and find more information about the campaign by visitinghttp://www.fundyourpark.org/campaign/detail/3668