It’s time to make waves in beach accessibility | Pursuit by The University of Melbourne

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  • It’s time to make waves in beach accessibility

    Excluding people with disability from beach culture is both unfair and unlawful. Australia could be a world leader in making beaches accessible to people of all abilities

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    The beach is one of Australia’s most popular recreation destinations. It’s at the heart of Australian culture and our national identity.

    Participating in recreation at the beach improves physical and mental health and wellbeing. People experience the beach as a place of pleasure, play and sociability in ways that are hard to find in other urban spaces.

    However, people with disability remain largely excluded from Australian beaches.

    The beach is an iconic part of the Australian lifestyle. Picture: Alex Proimos/Wikimedia

    Our recent study, funded by the Melbourne Disability Institute, examined the benefits of accessible beaches for people with disability and what makes beaches more or less accessible.

    We found some positive examples of beach accessibility, but within a broader culture of risk aversion that excludes people with disability under the guise of safety.

    People with disabilities are excluded from the beach

    Removing barriers to participation [...]

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