BEACH ACCESS FOR EVERYONE
(7/11/2007) New Haven installs beach wheelchairs at lighthouse point
NEW HAVEN- New Haven has installed three beach wheelchairs at Lighthouse Point making it easier for individuals with mobility impairments to navigate beach sands and the shore. The purchase of these wheelchairs was made possible by a grant of $25,000 from the Department of Environmental Protection, Long Island Sound License Plate Program.
The grant funds also cover the costs of improving access to the bathhouse for individuals with mobility impairments as well as new life vests, an air pump and signage at the front gate and the bathhouse. This initiative has been spearheaded by Michelle Duprey, Director of the New Haven Department of Services for Persons with Disabilities.
“Often times communities focus on other issues faced by people with disabilities and overlook how important access to recreation is for people with disabilities,” said Duprey. “People with disabilities benefit greatly from getting involved in all facets of the community and I truly believe the community benefits as well. We are thrilled to give New Haven residents and visitors with physical disabilities the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful beach and water at Lighthouse Point Park.”
The three wheelchairs purchased include:
• The Tiralo Floating Beach chair which allows for an individuals feet to drop into the sand or into the water and is designed to safely float in deep water so that individuals can swim or rest in the water
• The Beach Cruz which is all-terrain powered chair that uses rechargeable batteries for sand use. This chair is made of corrosion resistant stainless hardware.
• The Landeez which is an all-terrain manual wheelchair made to ride easily over sand and gravel. This chair uses marine-grade stainless steel to avoid corrosion in the sand and in salt water.
“Our beach is a great natural resource that should be accessible to everyone in our community,” said Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. “By providing these wheelchairs, we eliminate barriers for individuals with mobility disabilities and further our commitment to making our City a welcoming and accessible place for everyone regardless of impairments.”
“These beach wheelchairs are a tremendous use of grants awarded from the DEP's Long Island Sound Fund,” said Amey Marrella, Deputy Commissioner of the State’s DEP. “Money for these grants is raised through the sale of Preserve the Sound license plates. We are pleased to have worked with the city of New Haven to help find the purchase of these wheelchairs and we encourage everyone to purchase a Preserve the Sound license plate.”
In order to make the bathhouse at Lighthouse Point more accessible, the City will be resurfacing the floor to repair cracks and will decrease the slope and bevel ramp.
Contact Name: Jessica Mayorga
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Contact Phone: 203-946-7660