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A beach in Connecticut rolls out a welcome mat for those with disabilities

A beach in Connecticut rolls out a welcome mat for those with disabilities

Greenwich residents Anne Hotchkiss and Angelo Arista, 5, use the new ADA accessible ramp on the Greenwich Point Park beach in Old Greenwich, Conn.
Greenwich residents Anne Hotchkiss and Angelo Arista, 5, use the new ADA accessible ramp on the Greenwich Point Park beach in Old Greenwich, Conn. Credit: Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

We all love casually strolling down to the beach to place our butts in the sand and even wade out into the cool salt water. But what about those people with mobility issues that don’t have the same luxury?

Well, a beach in Connecticut just rolled out a neat way for people with disabilities to roll themselves down and enjoy the beautiful ocean.

Anne Hotchkiss’ hair flowed with the wind as she rolled by a crowd of clapping onlookers in her black wheelchair.

“No speeding,” one man yelled as Hotchkiss confidently rode by.

Greenwich residents Anne Hotchkiss and Angelo Arista, 5, use the new ADA accessible ramp on the Greenwich Point Park beach in Old Greenwich, Conn.
Greenwich residents Anne Hotchkiss and Angelo Arista, 5, use the new ADA accessible ramp on the Greenwich Point Park beach in Old Greenwich, Conn. Credit: Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

“Did you bring the champagne,” another woman asked, as Hotchkiss approached the end of her demonstration.

About a dozen people gathered at Greenwich Point on Wednesday morning as the town rolled out a new 6-foot-wide vinyl mat that runs along the sand and up to the high tide line, providing improved beach access to people living with disabilities.

First Selectman Peter Tesei speaks before cutting the ribbon for the new ADA accessible ramp on the Greenwich Point Park beach in Old Greenwich, Conn.
First Selectman Peter Tesei speaks before cutting the ribbon for the new ADA accessible ramp on the Greenwich Point Park beach in Old Greenwich, Conn. Credit: Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

The mat was created by AccessRec, an organization that helps expand accessibility at beaches and other recreational community spaces. It has long spike-like features that run underneath it, which dig into the sand and keep the mat from shifting during use.

Alan Gunzburg, who serves on the First Selectman’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities, stands on the new ADA accessible ramp on the Greenwich Point Park beach in Old Greenwich, Conn.
Alan Gunzburg, who serves on the First Selectman’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities, stands on the new ADA accessible ramp on the Greenwich Point Park beach in Old Greenwich, Conn. Credit: Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

It’s the only mat of its kind at Greenwich Point. A similar but older mat at Byram Beach stops short of the water. “It really doesn’t take you down to the waterline the same way that we have accomplished here,” said Alan Gunzburg, secretary of the Lions Club of Greenwich, an international service organization dedicated to helping the blind and visually impaired.

The new fixture at Greenwich Point is a small but symbolic and welcoming gesture to people with mobility issues, according to their friends, families and other attendees.

Greenwich residents Anne Hotchkiss and Angelo Arista, 5, use the new ADA accessible ramp on the Greenwich Point Park beach in Old Greenwich, Conn.
Greenwich residents Anne Hotchkiss and Angelo Arista, 5, use the new ADA accessible ramp on the Greenwich Point Park beach in Old Greenwich, Conn. Credit: Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

Source Greenwich Time


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