Vancouver park board rolls out first accessibility mat for beachgoers with mobility challenges

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      Life isn’t a beach for many people who have problems moving about.

      In order to address this matter, the Vancouver park board has launched a pilot project to make beaches more accessible to people with mobility issues.

      The board on Wednesday (August 9) rolled out an accessibility mat at English Bay to serve as a walkway on the sand to the water.

      The mat can be used by people in wheelchairs and scooters, and with walkers, as a path from the bathhouse to the tide line.

      “One of our core values is access for all to our parks and recreation facilities," park board chair Michael Wiebe said in a media release.

      Wiebe also said that the mat is an addition to existing adaptive recreation programs in the city.

      The mat will be removed in the fall.

      Park staff will be gathering feedback during the trial at English Bay.

      The program may be expanded to other beaches next summer.

      Jacques Courteau, co-chair of City of Vancouver’s persons with disabilities advisory committee, helped the board test the mat.

      “I just want to be like everyone else and go to the beach with my friends,” Courteau said in the same media release.

      The roll-out and non-slip walkway is a Mobi-Mat brand.