New resource to help people with mobility issues remain active represents a significant moment in history

Staff Reporter

Barry’s Bay – If you yourself have been confined to a wheelchair, or if someone you care for has, immediately you will become aware of the many challenges of accessing certain places. In an urban environment, modern design features in buildings and public spaces often account for accessibility needs. As a result, there are fewer and fewer places with physical barriers in cities. However, in less densely populated rural settings there is less social pressure to force the consideration of the needs of individuals in wheelchairs. Fortunately, things are changing and Barry’s Bay is at the forefront of those changes.

A new piece of equipment is available for lending, and it will be a gamechanger for many individuals and their families. This equipment is a floating wheelchair that can also be driven on the sand. A specially designed mat is also on the beach helping to make access to the lakeshore easier for people with conventional wheelchairs or with walkers.

A post on one of the township’s social media platforms announced that the Mobi-chair is now available. It said, “Thank you to Charlie Stoppa, Madawaska Valley Association for Community Living and Enabling Accessibility Funding through Employment and Social Development Canada.”

Stoppa helped to write the grant and applied to be a student ambassador; as a result, the township now has the Mobi-chair to lend out.

The post said, “Our accessible mat and the Mobi-Chair are available for use at Lakeshore in Barry’s Bay.” It added, “Thank you to Allan and summer students – Matthew, Sam & Jacob for putting it out for use.”

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