Category: Accessible Parks

Must Visit All-Accessible Playgrounds

No one should have to sit on the sidelines of the playground because they’re not able to maneuver the landscape or access the playground equipment. We’re not the only ones who have identified the need for all-inclusive, accessible playgrounds for kids; a majority of the reason we see these parks today is because a community member saw a need. Take a look at these five parks all across the nation that you should add to your travel list!

  1. Brooklyn’s Playground – Pocatello, Idaho: Built with the love and support of the community, Brooklyn’s Playground was created to give the gift of play to children of all abilities. Brooklyn’s Playground is a community-wide volunteer effort to build the first fully-inclusive playground. Chock-full of fun, a visit to the park is a must for anyone in the area!
  2. Hope Park – Frisco, Texas: Not only accessible for those in power chairs and wheelchairs, Hope Park was designed for children with a wide variety of special needs. There are sensory engaging elements of the park including Soundplay accessible instruments. Next time you’re in the DFW Metroplex, take a break and play at Hope Park!
  3. Tatum’s Garden – Salinas, California: After a family stopped during their road trip to play at Brooklyn’s Park in Pocatello, Idaho, they were inspired to create the same thing for their young daughter with Spina Bifida. From there, everything was set into motion for Tatum’s Garden. Next time you’re road tripping near the Salinas area, stop by to play at the county’s first fully-inclusive and accessible playground.
  4. Taylor’s Dream: A Boundless Playground – Fort Wayne, Indiana: When a girl named Taylor saw another student who wasn’t able to enjoy the playground equipment, she decided to take action. Along with her friends and the Parks & Recreation Department, they worked together to create a 42,000 square-foot playground. Designed with age-specific play pods and a splash pad which serves as a hub for all of the play pods, this playground was named as one of the top 50 playgrounds in the nation.
  5. Jake’s Place – Cherry Hill, New Jersey: Jake’s Place was created to honor Baby Jake’s memory after he left this world all too soon as a result of a rare cardiac condition. Jake’s family chose to honor him by creating a specially designed, all-inclusive playground based on their belief that EVERY child deserves a chance to play, regardless of physical limitations. With synthetic surfaces, wide ramps, sensory and implements to work on coordination, this playground has something for everyone!

We hope you feel inspired and ready to take your kids out to play! If there’s an all-inclusive park near you be sure to leave us a comment – we’d love to see it! For more information about our options to make those with limited mobility more independent, contact us today!

Easily Accessible National Parks to Visit

The National Park Service is committed more than ever to making facilities and programs accessible for visitors. If you or your loved one is a nature lover but have trouble getting around, then you will love this list of easily accessible national parks EZ-ACCESS has compiled!

Yosemite National Park – California

Mighty waterfalls, towering sequoias, and grand granite formations are the wondrous features of this park. Yosemite officials have done a great job at making it more accessible over the years by adding shuttle buses that take you to the popular sites along with having many trails that are wheelchair and scooter navigable.

Grand Canyon National Park –Arizona

The overwhelming size of this natural beauty can be seen by all with its flat, wheelchair accessible trails. There are even many wide, paved paths that will allow you to get close to the canyon and take in the magnitude of the site.

Olympic National Park – Washington

Encompassing nearly a million acres, this park contains an extreme diversity of wildlife and vast amounts of wilderness encasing glacier-capped mountains and lush rain forests. There is a 6-mile trail which is made of hard packed dirt and crushed granite which allows for a very manageable tour of Mother Nature’s beauty. 

Zion National Park – Utah

Massive sandstone cliffs soar sky high into the bright blue sky with a wide array of plants and animals that add to the wilderness. A free shuttle bus, which is wheelchair accessible, transports you up and down the canyon with several unrestrictive sites along the way.

Yellowstone National Park – Wyoming

The world’s first national park features colorful hot springs, large geysers, and towering mountains that will give you a breathtaking view of the great outdoors. Long paved trail winds around Old Faithful to give everyone a chance to see the spectacular site. The visitor centers also offer a few loaner wheelchairs along with placed benches near the front of the geyser.

These national parks are extraordinary sites that feature marvelous views you won’t forget. We hope that you travel to one of these easily accessible locations to take in the stunning scenes offered by Mother Nature. Contact us if you need a new piece of equipment to help you explore the wilderness. We’d be happy to help!

Navigate Beaches With Ease This Spring Break

wheelchair beaches

After a winter of shaking and shivering, a spring getaway to warmer weather is an ideal way to unthaw. Although beaches offer the toasty temperatures you’ve been dreaming about, the sandy terrain might seem like a barrier between the promise of sun and your mobility device. EZ-ACCESS strives to help you find accessible options to seize each day, and we suggest the following fair-weather tips to squeeze the most out of your beachside spring break:

  • Research accessible beaches: More and more, beachy tourist destinations are revamping to accommodate mobility devices. Look for beaches that feature paved walking paths around the perimeter and boardwalks that extend into the sand from adjacent parking lots. Also, consider the set-up of restrooms and changing houses to ensure a smooth outing.
  • Look into beach wheelchairs: Sand and uneven ground creates a hassle when navigating your daily wheelchair around the beach. With oversized tires and breathable mesh seating, beach wheelchairs are designed to help you tackle the sand with ease. Check with your beach’s lifeguard station or your hotel’s concierge to see if they have a few for paid or free rental, or ask around at beachside storefronts.
  • Bring tarps: If a beach wheelchair isn’t an option, pack a few durable tarps or mats for your outing. When laid out, the barrier between sand and wheels creates a runway to get you from parking lot to sandy spot with less difficulty. Bringing two tarps allows you to station your chair on one surface while the other is placed in front of you, creating a rotation for an adjustable path.
  • Wear a floatation belt: When you want to cool off in the waves, your caregiver can give you a hand maneuvering from sitting in your chair to sitting in shallow waters. Wearing a flotation belt discreetly offers back support while you sit and a layer of safety in the event of tipping for those with weak muscle control.
  • Take advantage of nearby shops: Escaping out of the midday sun and into nearby shops is part of a successful day at the beach. Visit restaurants outside of peak meal hours to avoid the hubbub of tourists, and look for restaurants that offer sidewalk and other outdoor seating options to enjoy the breeze outside of hard-to-navigate indoor seating layouts.

As you travel, transporting your mobility chair doesn’t need to be a hassle. Our line of SUITCASE portable wheelchair ramps offer portable, lightweight solutions to rolling your mobility device in and out of your vehicle with ease so you can zip from the parking lot to the beach in no time. Questions? Let us know!

Spinal Muscular Atrophy: Helpful Tips for a Full and Accessible Childhood

spinal muscular atrophy

August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy Month and EZ-ACCESS is raising awareness about this devastating and debilitating disease. If your child lives with SMA, EZ-ACCESS is bringing you helpful tips for your child to live a full childhood.

Spinal muscular atrophy is caused by a mutation in a motor neuron gene 1. What does this mean? In a healthy person, this gene will normally produce protein that is critical to the functioning of the nerves that control our muscles. Without this protein, the nerves will eventually die leading to debilitating muscle weakness. 1 in 50 Americans is a genetic carrier.

Accessible playgrounds-

Accessible playgrounds are a new trend that is here to stay for children across the country. Nearly every state in the USA has an accessible playground, including Washington. Accessible playgrounds welcome children of all abilities and your children can play without restrictions that most playgrounds have for those in a wheelchair.

Home accessibility-

If an accessible playground is not anywhere near your home, there are still ways to entertain your child who lives with SMA. EZ-ACCESS has a variety of accessible ramps for the front, side and back doors of your home. The Pathway Modular Access System is ideal for your front door because of the sleek and easy to use ramp.  For the side door or into the garage area, a Transition Angled Entry Mat will assist the wheelchair user while going over the lip of a door. For the backdoor into the backyard or back patio, the Suitcase Singlefold AS Ramp is ideal so your child can enjoy the backyard with friends and family. This ramp is portable, so you can take it on vacations and errands.

Spinal muscular atrophy is a serious and debilitating muscle disease. EZ-ACCESS is here for all of your home accessibility needs, easily find an EZ-ACCESS ramp dealer here.

 

Accessible Playground: What it is and how to find one near you

accessible-parks-blog

Not long ago, an exciting trend began popping up across the United States, accessible playgrounds. This is an exciting trend in the playground world because it is an inclusive and accessible environment. EZ-ACCESS is dedicating this blog to telling you what an accessible playground is and how you can locate an accessible playground for your child to enjoy.

What is an accessible playground?

An accessible playground is an inclusive and accessible environment for all children to play without restrictions because of a wheelchair. These types of playgrounds make it easy for children in wheelchairs to feel like they have a place to play without thinking about their wheelchair holding them back. These playgrounds have been popping up to comply with ADA guidelines and communities that want accessible playgrounds.

How do I find an accessible playground?

There are more accessible playgrounds out there than you may think. Exciting news: nearly every state in the USA has an accessible playground! There is even a directory of accessible playgrounds so you can see which cities in your state have these playgrounds for your children to enjoy.

Where are the accessible playgrounds in Washington?

Washington has quite a few accessible playgrounds to choose from, depending on where you live.

Cresent Creek Park- Gig Harbor, Washington: This Park is an all-ability with all-inclusive play equipment for children of all abilities. The park offers access for adults of limited ability as well.

Discovery Playground and Sensory Garden- Auburn, Washington: From water jets to easily accessible pathways, this is the perfect summertime fun spot for children of all abilities. Raised plant beds at the sensory garden can help wheelchair users see all that it has to offer.

Meadow Crest Park- Renton, Washington: Another accessible part in a different area of Washington state. View all the rest of the accessible parks here.

EZ-ACCESS hopes you are able to enjoy these parks for the rest of the summer into the fall season. Learn more about our accessibility ramps for your home.