147 beaches in Greece have already been renovated to be wheelchair friendly. Photo, Video Credit: SeatracSociety Greece
Wheelchairs on Beaches for “Equal Access to the Sea”
Wheelchair-friendly beaches are growing in numbers all across Greece thanks to the installation of an innovative system meant to promote the autonomy and wellness of people facing mobility issues and disabilities.
“Equal access to the sea is an inalienable human right,” states Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias. “People with disabilities and people with limited mobility can engage in activities such as swimming that contribute to their physical and mental health.”
The 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens jump-started Greece’s efforts to make its rocky and mountainous topography more accessible. So far, 147 beaches have undergone the necessary transformation, and an additional 140 beaches will have the Greek-designed Seatrac system for wheelchairs installed. Other essential facilities will also be adapted for disabled people, such as parking, bathroom and changing facilities, ramps and corridors to sun loungers, and refreshment bars. The 16-million-dollar project is being funded by national resources and the European Union.