New accessibility equipment for Wellington Rotary Beach

Submitted photo

Prince Edward County’s Wellington Rotary Beach just got a little more accessible.

On May 16, community members celebrated the unveiling of an accessible beach mat, also known as a Mobi-Mat, which is now in place at the beach.

The mat will make it easier for people using wheelchairs, families with strollers, and others to access the water.

Two floating beach wheelchairs, known as “Mobi-Chairs”, will also be available for people who require them.

The Wellington Rotary Club identified this project as one of its goals for the 2023/24 Rotary year. Rotary Club members fundraised and garnered the financial support from other area clubs, and earned a district grant from Rotary District 7070.

Ken Robertson, past president of the Wellington Rotary Club, was on hand for the event. He remarked that this project supports the County of Prince Edward’s commitment to ensure accessibility and inclusion for all residents and visitors.

“Our members are incredibly proud to take the lead on this project, which aligns with the Rotary Club’s desire to further diversity, equity and inclusion,” Robertson said.

Local Rotarians worked with County Council, municipal staff, and the Accessibility Advisory Committee to develop the plan and design of this project.

“The Wellington Rotary Beach is truly a gem in our town. These improvements will help even more people cool off this summer and enjoy the majestic sunsets,” stated Corey Engelsdorfer, Ward Councillor for Wellington.

Submitted photo

Wade Watts (Watts Accessibility Consulting) provided the Wellington Rotary Beach with an estimate for a preliminary design. He was then approached by Corona Canada about the “Accessing Paradise Pledge,” a corporate commitment to improve beach access across Canada. With financial support from Corona, this project was expanded to increase the size and design, as well as to include two Mobi-Chairs and a storage shed. Wellington Rotary Beach is the first of up to six beaches to have these improvements as a result of Corona’s support.

“As part of the one-third of Canadians that suffer from mobility issues, I know first-hand how limiting and isolating it can be when outdoor public places are not accessible,” says Mr. Watts. “When Corona connected with me to better understand the barriers people with mobility challenges face and how to improve their beach experience, I was keen to share my insights. Thanks to Corona’s Accessing Paradise Pledge, Canadians with mobility limitations will be able to enjoy sunsets on more beaches this summer and I am excited to be one of them.”

“For years, Corona has been championing ways for consumers to disconnect from their busy routines to reconnect with nature, particularly at sunset,” says Mike Bascom, Senior Marketing Director, Corona Canada. “With our Accessing Paradise Pledge, we hope that Canadians who have faced mobility-specific hurdles to beaches can experience the serenity of a sunset on more shorelines this summer. While we recognize there is more work to be done, we’re thrilled to have the expertise of Mobi-Mats and Wade Watts as partners to best inform how to execute this project in a way that is authentic and meaningful.”

The Mobi-Mat is now in place at Wellington Rotary Beach. The Mobi-Chairs will be stored at the beach during the summer. The beach steward, which will start in a couple of weeks, will provide access to the Mobi-Chairs. More details on accessing the Mobi-Chairs will be provided in the coming weeks.

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