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trobertson
12-10-15, 11:29
I work for a national charity that provides lifesaving and drowning prevention services across the UK and RoI, including more than 200 beach lifeguard locations. Our innovation team has received a suggestion that we should be advocating or even providing 'trackways' on beaches to enable wheelchair users to access the beach and waterline or the flagged bathing areas.

I am very aware that as a non-wheelchair user I should not proceed with any work on this concept until I understand the customer needs and desires of the target group and the community's views on the responsibilities of local authorities / landowners and how they fulfil them in this sphere currently, so I have been looking for a suitable forum to discuss beach accessibility issues with wheelchair users themselves....hopefully I have found it here.

I am aware that the National Trust and council seafront services do sometimes provide balloon tyred and 'marinised' wheelchairs for visitors to access the beach environment and one local authority near me offers wheelchair friendly beach access surfaces, but I would be very interested in learning whether wheelchair users feel they would welcome better provision being made for increased accessibility to the beach / water, what solutions they would prefer, what activities would be a priority if access were provided and concerns / suggestions / needs that the wheelchair user community might wish to communicate so that I could respond to this suggestion from an informed perspective and advocate a position within my organisation that would be welcomed by the community I am looking to support.

Many thanks in anticipation