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Nature Center Offers Free Outdoor Wheelchairs, Improves Accessibility


By Dan Hounsell ADA
ADA nature

Accessibility measures in institutional and commercial organizations tend to revolve around accommodations to facilities, which is understandable given the level of interaction that occupants and visitors with disabilities have with all areas of facilities. 

Increasingly, organizations are paying attention to measures that expand accessibility to recreational areas, including beaches and parks. One example of the latter is a program that makes all-terrain outdoor wheelchairs (OWC) available to visitors to the Riveredge Nature Center in Ozaukee County, Wis.

The center is one of eight sites in the state of Wisconsin that offer outdoor wheelchairs on loan from Access Ability Wisconsin, according to OnMilwaukee. Users pay a $50 refundable deposit to reserve an OWC, and they can donate the $50 to fund maintenance. The chair is available to the user for a few hours to a full week.

The durable OWC features what look like tank tracks in place of wheels and can be used year round during the day or at night for hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, bird watching and outdoor excursions, such as weddings and field trips, into areas with a terrain that a regular wheelchair cannot accommodate.

Dan Hounsell is editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions.

 

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