Mobi-mat donation improves Bay Area beach access for people with reduced mobility

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Ande Dierking loves going to the beach with her family, but it is difficult for her to get to the water as she is confined to a wheelchair.

“It makes it tough when we want to go to the beach and have Ande with us,” said Connie, Dierking’s mom. “We can’t go that far because pushing a wheelchair in the sand is quite a practice, even with your dad, with us pushing the chair.”

But, getting to the beach just got a lot easier for Dierking thanks to the free Mobi-mats offered by the Forward Foundation.

“They have decided to remove this cost barrier and give a blank check to any town in our area facing the beach that wants to install mobility mats,” said Ashley Richmond, director of Help Us Gather. “We don’t want funding to be an issue preventing people from achieving equality and fairness in our community.”

Mats are non-slip, wheelchair-accessible beach access mats that create accessible paths for people with disabilities.

“It goes beyond simple wheelchair users,” said Jody Armstrong, director of the Outreach Disability Achievement Center. “It’s anyone who has difficulty in the sand. And by providing equal access, we allow many more people to access our beaches and enjoy our beaches. And not only do we have beaches. world-class, but we can also, with Mobi -mats, advocate that we also have the most accessible beaches in the world. ”

This is a goal that the foundation hopes to achieve.

“I value community members who understand the mobility issues of our population and look for ways to make things that many people take for granted are accessible to people with mobility impairments,” Dierking added.

The rugs cost about $ 2,000 each.

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Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story reported the incorrect name of the Forward Foundation. This version has been corrected.

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