Accessible Beaches Trial

Accessible Beaches Trial

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) in partnership with Lorne Surf Life Saving
Club (LSLSC) and Life Saving Victoria trialled an Accessible Beaches initiative at Lorne.
As part of a six-week trial, GORCC and LSLSC provided free access to a floating beach
wheelchair, portable hoist and 40 metres of accessible beach matting.

GORCC’s Chair Ken Northwood said the initiative aimed to make our beaches more accessible
and inclusive for every body. “We want everyone to be able to enjoy the beautiful beaches on
offer along the Surf Coast”.

“Our vision for the coast is to provide ‘world leading environmental protection and experiences for
all’, and this trial will allow people with a disability to get onto the sand and into the water –
sometimes for the first time in their lives”.

Beach wheelchairs are ideal for people who have mobility limitations, including those with
permanent disability, temporary disability or those with reduced mobility due to age.
The wheelchair was available for hire in 1 ½ hour slots from LSLSC during patrolled beach hours
until 31 March 2019. Use of the beach wheelchair, hoist and matting was free. Lifesavers provided water safety as part of scheduled patrols.

A shipping container adjacent to accessible parking spaces at LSLSC housed the beach
access wheelchair, portable hoist (users need to provide their own sling), instructions for use and
evaluation forms.

A first for the Surf Coast, the trial will inform suitable strategies for future accessible beaches
along the Surf Coast.

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