I just came across the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas dated June 20, 2007. I believe a hearing was set for July 24, 2007 on the proposal.
I am a wheelchair user living on the Big Island of Hawai’i. I often go to beach parks with friends and notice that on this island we have no beach parks with matted pathways (moby mats, for example) for wheelchair users to get to the water across the sand. Hapuna State Beach Park, for example, is one of the most popular swimming areas on this island and it has accessible parking, restrooms and picnic areas, but there is no way to cross the sand to access the ocean. I don’t know what solutions might be considered to provide more access to the water on at least some of the county and state beach parks in Hawai’i. It’s sad to live on a island where I cannot make it to the ocean to swim.
One other area that is challenging at beach parks for wheelchair users, if they did have a way to swim, is a place to transfer from a wheelchair to a bench or seat with an accessible shower. I don’t have a waterproof wheelchair and so would need to transfer to a shower seat in order to shower after swimming in the ocean.
The other area in Hawai’i that is lacking is accessible hiking trails whether at the Volcano National Park or any state or county parks that have nature trails. It would be nice to see a few nature trails made accessible for persons with disabilities. I’ve been to places in California, such as Yosemite National Park and the South Yuba Independence Trail, and thoroughly enjoyed being able to access nature trails. I know of none in Hawai’i.
Where can I best address these needs?
Thank you for your attention,
Chris S. Cholas