Nothing says summertime on the SouthCoast like a day at the beach.  Who doesn't love getting out in the fresh air, beating the heat with those gorgeous seabreezes?  However, for many years, accessibility on the beach has been challenging for individuals with disabilities who have a harder time navigating the sandy terrain.

That's why it's so exciting to see what is happening in Fairhaven and at other beaches.  Wheelchair beach accessibility promotes an inclusive environment that improves the well-being of individuals with mobility impairments.

West Island Town Beach in Fairhaven is the most recent location to join the initiative to make sure that everyone gets to enjoy the beach this summer.

The Fairhaven Board of Public Works is spreading the word that Town Beach has acquired lengthy mats that have been placed down on the sand to make it more easily navigable for anyone trying to access the beach in a wheelchair. Additionally, the beach now has a three-wheeled floating beach chair which is available to anyone who asks the staff.

attachment-Floating Beach Wheelchair
Fairhaven Bpw via Facebook

The floating beach chair not only allows disabled beach-goers to move freely throughout the beach but also to throw on their bathing suits and enjoy taking a dip in the water with everyone else.

SMILE Mass is an organization that aims to donate 20 floating beach chairs each year to public Massachusetts beaches through a local beach wheelchair program. On its website, it gives people the opportunity to request adaptive equipment and recommend beach locations that could use adaptive equipment.

It also has a list of locations in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont that offer these special floating beach wheelchairs. Some local locations include West Beach in New Bedford, Monument Beach and Scusset Beach State Park in Bourne, Pay Beach in Oak Bluffs, Plymouth Beach and Hedges Pond in Plymouth, Bass Hole and Seagull Beach in Yarmouth and more.

For the full list of more locations providing access to floating beach wheelchairs, head over to the SMILE Mass website.

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