Navigating the Beach with a Disability
During summer, the beach beckons for sunbathers and swimmers alike to convene and enjoy the beautiful weather. Navigating the beach can be a challenge for individuals with disabilities, as sand is not an ideal surface for a normal wheelchair or other mobility device such as canes, crutches, or walkers. There are, however, options tailored specifically for the beach and water. Let’s take a look at how these options can help to make beaches more accessible for individuals with disabilities:
If your ability to walk isn’t what it used to be, and you miss spending time at the beach, there are now special wheelchairs designed to roll across sand with ease. They differ from your typical wheelchair in that they have large, bulbous tires that make rolling across a sandy landscape possible. One thing to keep in mind is that spinal cord injuries can prohibit the body’s ability to sweat (read more about beating the heat here). One way around this is to clip an umbrella with UV protection in the fabric to the wheelchair and adjusting as the sun moves across the sky throughout the day. These ingenious inventions are fairly expensive, ranging from just under $1000 to well over $3000! If you can’t afford one, but still want to enjoy the beach, many beaches allow you to rent out a beach wheelchair by the hour or for the whole day. Moreover, some beaches even have a special ramp leading into the water so you can cool off. What a great idea!
Other Mobility Devices
If you are mobile, but require the aid of a cane, a walker, or crutches, the beach can still present problems with your ability to use your mobility device effectively. Luckily for you, though, there are attachments you can put on the tips of these devices to make walking on the beach a lot less challenging. Their circular shape dispenses the weight – much like snow shoes. No longer will the tip dig into the sand and get stuck. They also have holes to drain sand and water, further preventing them from getting stuck. Best of all, they’re affordable, listed on Amazon starting at just under $30.
Probably the biggest aspect of independent living is to be able to navigate one’s world with the same ease as that of a non-disabled person. That’s where mobility devices, like wheelchairs, come in. However, some terrains still present difficulties. We thank engineers and creative designers for solving these persistent issues. For all your disability and independent living needs, contact ILCNSCA by phone at 978-741-0077, or visit our website at https://ilcnsca.org/.
This post was written by Sperling