Area Beach Trials Hope to Lay Groundwork for ‘Benchmark’ Accessibility | The standard

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A team’s vision to make beaches accessible to all is one more step towards reality after the launch of a pilot initiative that saw a resident return to the water for the first time in decades. The graduates of the Great South Coast Leadership 2021 program hosted three accessible beach trials this month with support from the Port Fairy Surf Life Saving Club and Moyne Shire Council. During the three-hour trials, mothers with strollers, the disabled, the elderly, and even a few counselors tested equipment. Event day coordinator Oonagh Kilpatrick said seeing a participant in the water for the first time in recent memory was “the icing on the cake.” “It was about making possible what seemed impossible, it was a day of tears of joy and happiness,” she said. “The smiling faces of the participants, caregivers, Port Fairy Surf Lifesaving Club staff, volunteers and tourists who stopped by to participate said it all. The icing on the cake is that a participant had her birthday. first opportunity in 20 years to get out in the water, something she never thought she could do again… social inclusion, ”she said. “They have worked tirelessly this year to expand accessibility in the region and to bring their accessible beach pilot program to life. We hope this is the first step towards improving accessibility to beaches in the region. . “Paul Buchanan, PF SLSC project manager, said he hoped the program would become the” gold standard “for beach accessibility in Victoria.” Seeing local Moyne Shire residents having easy access to our beautiful eastern beach, using beach wheelchairs, personal winches, beach walkers and floating chairs was heartwarming, “he said.” Plans are currently underway for regular laying beach mats to provide access, storage and loan protocols for beach wheelchairs and other accessibility aids, lanes for all levels from parking lots to the beach, and the provision of changes for t All levels, showers and toilets close to the beach access “. Now enjoy the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard: Our journalists work hard to bring up-to-date local news to the community. This is how you can access our featured content: