Algarve Cadeira de rodas de praia 

 On the first day of June, Barbara Casteen felt the Atlantic Ocean wash across her skin for the first time in more than two years.

Waylaid by a knee infection, then a stroke that impaired her ability to speak and walk, the 87-year-old Wrightsville Beach resident of more than 17 years said she didn't realize until recently that the town had beach wheelchairs she could borrow.

"It was absolutely fantastic, to be able to put my feet in the water, to be able to see the kids playing," Casteen said, describing her June 1 trip.

Alan Earl, 34, used to sit on the balcony of his fifth-floor apartment, a block from the ocean in Carolina Beach, pondering what seemed like the impossible.

"I could see the beach, but I could never get there," said Earl, associate director for sports and recreation at Paralyzed Veterans of America.

For Earl, the turning point came when he ordered his own customized beach wheelchair.

"Getting over this little dune was a life-changer for me," said Earl, sitting on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. "There's a whole other world on the other side."

The experiences of Earl and Casteen highlight just one of the issues of great concern to Philip Woodward, access specialist at the N.C. Division of Rehabilitation Services. Woodward said as part of his job, he wants to work with beaches that have the expensive wheelchairs (at least $3,000 to $5,000 each) available to advertise them, as well as make sure it's convenient for those who need them to get them down to the beach.

The " Beach Easy Wheelchair in the UK is only £1,300 + delivery

Beach wheelchair in San Dieago

The beach is a way of life for many San Diegans and those who visit it. It offers endless views, ocean breezes and the chance to take in all that Southern California offers. And now the beach is even more welcoming for travelers with disabilities and others with limited mobility who are looking for an exhilarating holiday.

Through the efforts of Accessible San Diego, the city of San Diego, local residents and council members, there are now a variety of manual and powered beach chairs at different beach locations throughout San Diego County. The power beach chairs are a hybrid of the common power wheelchair used on streets and dune buggies that are designed to navigate the deserts. They are comfortable, sturdy and don't require someone to help get you through the sand. The manual chairs do require you bring a friend to help you navigate through the soft sand.

You can find the chairs at Ocean BeachMission BeachCoronado BeachSilver Strand State BeachImperial BeachLa Jolla Shores and Oceanside Harbor Beach. The beach chairs are available free of charge and reservations can be made by calling the numbers below.

  • Ocean Beach 619.221.8899
  • Mission Beach 619.980.1876
  • Coronado Beach 619.522.7346
  • Silver Strand State Beach 619.435.0126
  • Imperial Beach 619.685.7972

Beach wheelchairs for the UK

The Government is calling for Britain's beaches and tourist destinations to open up to people with disabilities, as official figures show that more than 40 per cent of those with impairments have had a problem in accessing a leisure activity in the past year. Esther McVey, the Minister for Disabled People, has asked local authorities to ensure places such as beaches are accessible to everyone.

Ms McVey said: "As well as the importance of equal access, it makes good business sense to ensure that local areas of beauty and interest can attract as many people as possible. The 'purple pound' [the combined spending power of disabled people in the UK] is worth £80bn a year; councils can benefit... when they consider how to make their local environment more inclusive. A small change can make a big difference to disability access."

For the almost 20 per cent of the working population of the UK who are disabled, peak tourist times, such as the bank holiday weekend, can be a reminder of how many places are inaccessible to them.

Many of Britain's beaches are out of bounds to wheelchair users. A few resorts, such as Polzeath in Cornwall and Barry Island in South Wales, have pioneered schemes that include ramps on to the sand and free use of special beach wheelchairs.

Ms McVey is encouraging councils to work with the Disability Action Alliance, a Government-established group of more than 180 organisations from the public, private and charitable sector, which wants to improve access for disabled people. Initiatives have included the Countryside Mobility scheme in the South-west. It provides all-terrain mobility scooters and wheelchair-accessible "wheelyboats" across more than 30 locations in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Somerset.

Richard Hawkes, chief executive of the disability charity Scope, said: "One year on from the Paralympics, disabled people continue to be sidelined.... Improving physical access is a must, but attitudes also need to change. Too often the barrier isn't a ramp or lift, it's someone not willing to do things a little differently.

"Disabled people and their families represent 20 million potential customers. Both local businesses and big brands could be doing so much more to tap into this potentially lucrative market."

Merely reaching a tourist attraction can pose problems. More than half of those questioned in a recent Office for National Statistics survey experienced difficulties getting on to a bus or a train. The same poll found that 41 per cent had difficulty accessing some kind of leisure activity in the last year.

Even everyday activities, such as going to the cinema or shopping, can be out of reach. Tanvi Vyas, project manager of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign's youth scheme Trailblazers said: "It is truly disheartening. Simple adjustments such as ramps and accessibility maps can make a vast difference."


Childrens beach wheelchair

The children's Beach Easy wheelchair is now being developed, so "watch this space" to find out more in future weeks. It's going to be great and open up the beach to the whole family !!

Swivel beach wheelchair

The fully manoeuvrable Beach Easy Wheelchair has been developed with slightly smaller balloon wheel castors on the front. This works great on most beaches except for the really deep very fine soft sand beaches, where the fixed wheel Beach easy wheelchair is "King". It does give extra manouverability though on the car parks and harder ground, leading back to the car, before the change over to the normal road wheels. 

 

Algarve beach wheelchair tests

The beach easy has passed some stern tests with flying colours in the Algarve. Whether it's a soft sandy beach, that normal wheelchairs find impassable, or harder sand dunes with steep inclines the "Beacheasy" goes over them all with a remarkable amount of ease. The patented special design of balloon tyres really makes pushing this wheelchair a pleasure.

 

    " Beach Easy Wheelchairs"  (Part of the Caspro-UK group of companies)