PEOPLE living with a disability will enjoy better access to the seaside when the Accessible Beaches Initiative arrives in Lorne this weekend.
Following a successful trial last year, the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) teamed up with Lorne Surf Life Saving Club and Life Saving Victoria to provide free access to a floating beach wheelchair, portable hoist and 40 metres of accessible beach matting from January 12 to February 23.
GORCC coastal reserves manager Caleb Hurrell said the 2019 trial was well received by the community, with several people making use of the beach matting.
“The matting enables people who find it difficult or impossible to travel over sand, such as wheelchair users, seniors and parents with prams, to access the beach, and the beach wheelchair enhances the beach experience by allowing users to travel along the shoreline and into shallow water.
“We want to enable everyone, regardless of their age or ability, to access the sand and water at one of our most popular beaches on the Surf Coast.”
Beach wheelchairs are designed for people who have mobility limitations, including those who have a lifelong disability, temporary disability or reduced mobility caused by ageing.
The wheelchair will be available for hire from Lorne SLSC during patrolled beach hours in one-hour time slots.
Users with limited mobility will require the assistance of a carer/s to access the free wheelchair and for water safety.
A shipping container adjacent to accessible parking spaces at Lorne SLSC will house the beach access wheelchair, portable hoist (users must provide their own sling) and instructions for use.