Greece Makes Hundreds of Beaches Accessible to Wheelchairs With Self-Operating Ramps into the Water
Describing access to the sea as an inalienable human right, Greek tourism authorities are retrofitting 287 beaches across the country with self-operating wheelchair ramps.
Self-operating means that wheelchair users can operate it by themselves without assistance from a friend or employee, offering a flexible freedom rarely found in difficult terrain such as beach sand.
So far, work crews have already installed the Seatrac system on 147 beaches, where disabled people can enjoy swimming in the country’s famous blue waters.
The scope of the project goes beyond beaches and has seen the Acropolis of Athens equipped with a wheelchair elevator, and many other sides receive renovations to make wheelchair-bound visitors more welcome, including bathrooms, sidewalks and walkways, snack bars, and other amenities.
“People with disabilities and people with limited mobility can engage in activities such as swimming that contribute to their physical and mental health,” Vassilis Kikilias, Greece’s tourism minister, announced at a press conference.
“Seatrac does not provide only independent access to the sea,” Ignatios Fotiou, who helped develop the technology, to the Washington Post. “It provides dignity and independence to people with mobility issues that want to enjoy swimming. They can choose where to go and ask their friends to join them, not the other way around.”
The government of the country created a website for all the info needed to plan a wheelchair-included trip to the beaches of Greece, including a map of all the beaches nearby equipped with the Seatracs.
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