Kingston Beach has a new beach wheelchair storage facility for all to share.
Kingborough Mayor, Paula Wriedt, who also chairs the Disability Inclusion and Access Advisory Committee, said she was delighted to have played a role in making it possible for improving beach access for wheelchair users in Kingston.
“Last year Council completed an accessible ramp at Kingston Beach, which is located opposite the toilet block on Osbourne Esplanade,” Cr Wriedt said.
“We were also really pleased that the Kingston Beach Surf Life Saving Club secured funding for two beach wheelchairs that can be borrowed by members of the community.
Kingborough Council contributed to the building and installation of a storage locker for the wheelchairs, that has been installed on Council land in front of the Kingston Beach toilet block.
“Being able to go down to the beach and into the water is something that many of us take for granted, but the reality is that for someone who requires a wheelchair, is that it can be out of reach. These chairs and the access ramp now make it far easier and safer.”
The club president, Danielle Campbell said the club was totally blown away by the community reaction.
“It has a total privilege to witness the joy and freedom the chairs have been giving individuals,” Dr Campbell said.
“Swimming at the beach is a universal love so it great more people can make it a regular part of their life.”
Keren Frank, a community member who intends to use the facility said the use of the beach wheelchair and MLAK storage facility would be a game changer for families of people living with disability, wishing to access the beach.
“Too often a trip to the beach becomes a logistical nightmare, trying to find accessible parking, easy pathways and then to actually get in the water is a whole other story,” Ms Frank said.
“Our daughter, Bella has often missed out on trips to the beach with her brothers because of this reason, but not anymore.
“We love to do activities as a family and these chairs are so easy to use and are wonderful to experience with your child.
“We have taken Bella to float/ride in the waves with her brothers and for long beach walks when it’s too cold to swim.
“To have them available through the MLAK storage, right at the beach, will save families the sometimes-cumbersome task of transporting it themselves.
“It would be great to see other councils around Tassie jump on board the inclusive beaches project – such a great initiative.”
Members of the community living with disability can access the beach wheelchairs in the locker with a MLAK key they can get through the Kingston Beach Surf Life Saving Club.