Wheelchairs have made it convenient for those with disabilities to get around in most locations on the ground. But what about the water? Certainly a wheelchair shouldn’t keep you out of the ocean while vacationing at the beach, right?
If a recent development at Maracas Beach in Trinidad is any indication, the answer is no.
People with disabilities can now enjoy the relaxing ocean waters thanks to Maracas Beach’s Amphibious Wheelchair Service. The idea was initially created during a conference held by the Tourism Development Company on Trinidad and Tobago. Conversations evolved from basic wheelchair access to how those with disabilities might be able to better enjoy their time on the beach.
The wheelchair has the appearance of a standard beach chair and floats like most any other floatable device. The make-up of the chair is made in such a way that the passenger is totally stable while on ramps and in the water, allowing maximum comfort and freedom.
The service is free and safe; a pair of lifeguards assist each person using the wheelchair and remain with them while they are in the water. But in this safety, the dignity of the person within the chair is also taken into consideration. The guards are there merely for safety and do not in any way interfere with the passenger’s experience.
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While it may seem like an almost extravagant service for beachgoers, the Tourism Board within the area has realized that people with disabilities actually make up a significant portion of the income that is brought in. Although the number of amphibious wheelchairs in use is small, the popularity of the service is likely to demand the creation of many more.
This exciting breakthrough in beach going fun gives those with disabilities more of a chance to really enjoy themselves and experience the beach. There is still fun out there to be had for individuals with disabilities—and this news out of Maracas Beach is further proof of this.