Day At The Beach 07/06/12

At Presque Isle's Beach 7, people with disabilities can use a wheelchair-accessible ramp to get a great view of the beach area and beautiful sunsets.


But, until two summers ago, if someone with a disability wanted to get to the water's edge, they were out of luck.

Now, Presque Isle lifeguards can assemble a solid ramp at the beach that leads right to the lake.

"It does provide them with a sense of enjoyment to not only get out on the beachfront and to see Lake Erie and to see the beach area, but the ramp does provide them access right to the water's edge."




On days when the water is choppy, lifeguards will wait to put the ramp out so none of the pieces float away.

"Just ask if it is a rough day, and we'll be glad to get it to the water's edge and assist any individual that is in need of assistance for that."


While the ramp is only available at beach 7, beach wheelchairs, available for free across the way at the Yellow Bike Surrey Shop, can access any beach.


Jim Noland of Presque Isle Medical Technologies, said his company purchased 2 beach wheelchairs four years ago.


The chairs have bigger wheels, which allow for easier access in the sand, unlike regular wheelchairs.

"A lot of the time, they'll get stuck when you're pushing them, even just in wet grass. So it's really important that the chair itself be outfitted to go outdoors. So before that, people really didn't have access except on hard stuff."


With the beach wheelchairs, now those with disabilities can take full advantage of one of the area's gems.


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