Central Coast News
Beach wheelchairs and matting creates inclusive fun in the sun this Summer
Council Administrator, Rik Hart said it's important to ensure that everyone in our community and visitors can participate in all aspects of community life.
"With an abundance of beautiful beaches on the Coast, heading to the beach is a major part of our community's lifestyle and these natural assets attract hundreds of tourists to our region each year," Mr Hart said.
"Providing beach wheelchairs and beach matting improves access and inclusion and ensures everyone can join in and enjoy our coastline.
"Council is committed to the continual improvement of access for people with disabilities, and this is one example of delivering on this goal and implementing actions from our Disability and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP*)."
Council has a suite of beach wheelchairs available for free hire for residents and visitors at the following patrolled beaches:
- Avoca Beach
- Copacabana Beach
- Killcare Beach
- Lakes Beach
- Macmasters Beach
- Ocean Beach (Umina)
- Shelly Beach
- Soldiers Beach
- Terrigal Beach
- The Entrance
- Toowoon Bay
- Umina Beach
- Wamberal Beach
To accommodate varied needs, there are three models of beach wheelchairs including the Sand Cruiser (available at all above locations), plus the Hippocampe and Water Wheel (at selected suitable locations).
While beach wheelchair hire can be arranged on site through the lifeguards at individual Surf Life Saving Clubs, online bookings are highly encouraged to ensure the preferred model of beach wheelchair is available. This is also the best way to arrange relocation of beach wheelchairs for individual or group bookings in advance.
Following a successful trial last summer beach matting has been installed at Toowoon Bay, Umina Beach, Ocean Beach and Terrigal Beach this season to improve access for people who are less mobile and living with a disability.
These beaches have been chosen because erosion is low to moderate and they are relatively flat.
The bright, blue matting is rolled out and secured over the sand and usable by all beach goers providing a stable, non-slip, cool surface particularly for people who may use wheelchairs, mobility aids, or prams to have easier access across the sand.
To book a beach wheelchair online or for more information go Council's website centralcoast.nsw.gov.au and search 'beach accessibility'.
*The Disability and Inclusion Action Plan is a four-year plan consisting of strategies and actions to develop positive community attitudes and behaviours, create liveable communities, support access to meaningful employment, and improve access to services through better systems and processes for people living with a disability. A key part of the DIAP is improving access to and enjoyment of public spaces and places, including the Coast's beaches. The latest Central Coast Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2021-2025 and Easy English version are available on the Central Coast website under 'Strategies and Plans at www.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au.
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