Project creates beach access
BUNDABERG organisations are working on a project to offer access solutions to local beaches, for people living with disabilities.
The project aims to eliminate participation and social challenges, by ensuring local beaches are accessible for people that face mobility restrictions.
Led by CQUniversity, the collaboration project called U-Beach will provide access pathways, sand and floating wheelchairs and walkers to Neilsons, Elliott Heads and Moore Park Beach.
CQUniversity physiotherapy lecturer Sasha Job said the project would assist tourism groups and attract a wider demographic, for offering fully inclusive and accessible experiences.
"(Because of) U-Beach, we are able to provide beach accessibility and support flexible options for physical activity that meet the needs of diverse lifestyles, abilities, and interests," Ms Job said.
"Through proactive collaboration, community service groups can inspire and empower individuals to be physically active, while sporting clubs and schools will have a unique opportunity to expand their physical activity and recreation programs and to include individuals who previously could not access our beaches."
The CQUniversity lecturer said while she anticipates it will be free, events and sports competitions at the beach sites may incur a cost.
"Collaborators are working hard to secure much-needed funding and finalise operational plans and agreements so the project can start making a difference to people's lives, in the most cost-effective way possible," Ms Job said.
"It will be an honour to welcome all individuals to our beautiful beaches and to witness the pure joy on their faces. After all, research demonstrates that green spaces improve happiness, general wellbeing, health, and brain function."
The project will be delivered by CQUniversity, Bundaberg Regional Council, Surf Lifesaving Queensland, Community Lifestyle Support and Bundaberg Rotary, with the assistance of local education and sporting institutions.
U-Beach will act as an extension of last year's accessibility project, led by CQUniversity, Accessible Beaches Australia and Push Mobility.
The accessibility project turned Tannum Sands Beach into a fully-accessible location for people living with a disability.