Online Wheelchair Rider’s Guide Now Covers All of California’s Coast

A Wheelchair Rider’s Guide to the California Coast (www.wheelingcalscoast.org/) has been expanded to include the entire coastline of California and the shoreline of San Francisco Bay. Wheelchair-accessible sites in the South Coast, North Coast, and San Francisco Bay Area were recently added to the website, which was launched in 2010.

“Before people with limited mobility venture out to explore the outdoors, they want to know more about a park or trail than the term ‘wheelchair accessible’ provides,” said website creator Bonnie Lewkowicz, director of Access Northern California. “The website describes each location to enable users to determine for themselves if it meets their particular accessibility needs.”

The website describes more than 160 parks, trails, beaches, piers, lighthouses, and visitor centers. It includes information about accessible features of the restrooms and parking areas, average cross-slopes and grades of trails, and the firmness and width of trail surfaces. One popular feature informs users if beach wheelchairs, designed to travel over sand, are available for loan.

The website came about from printed guidebooks for wheelchair-accessible sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California originally published by the Coastal Conservancy in 1990. The website makes the information available to a far greater audience and allows for relatively easy updates of existing sites and additions of new sites.

Access Northern California (http://accessnca.org/) is a nonprofit organization working to increase opportunities and improve access to travel and outdoor recreation for people with disabilities and seniors throughout Northern California.

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