Impact of beach mats
How accessible beach mats are making the difference
The beaches in Goderich finally rolled out the mats and became fully accessible this summer.
A total of six mats were purchased by the Town earlier in the spring, with a total expenditure of $14,700. The mats are located at the Cove Beach and the Main Beach.
Offering a different landscape this summer, the beaches are more accessible to those who have difficulty being mobile. The addition of the nonslip accessibility mats at the beaches for people with disability, for those who use a walker or for those using strollers have accommodated a great number of people. Comprised of recycled polyester and recycled cardboard packing, the soft-feel, non-slip accessibility mats are also UV, water and mildew resistant. In addition, the mats can also be relocated and also roll up for winter storage.
Accessibility and inclusivity issues previously presented a restrictive factor to those who can now visit the Goderich beaches and have the freedom to go farther on one’s own and do it safely. A user of the mats mentioned that, “It’s freeing for parents of babies and young ones and special needs or accessibility issues. For wagons and strollers, there’s no way a single adult can roll through the sand. It’s very helpful.” Single parents, parents with children with special needs or individuals with mobility issues, their access to the beach is now easier in Goderich. It provides a more stable access point to the water without worrying about tripping or a struggle. For some users of the beaches in Goderich, the lack of choice of location when needing to use the accessibility mats is a downside.
“One part of me thinks it’s lovely. It enables me to take the baby and a kid or two on my own as I could take the stroller and not need any help lifting it down into sand,” says one mother and frequent user of Goderich beaches.
“I hate crowds, especially on a beach. I prefer more isolated locations, so personally the downside is that your choice of location is taken from you. Even though the positive is greater access to a spot you wouldn’t have been able to access without the mats.” The greater impact of the accessibility mats remains to be positive for those who have used them.
The fact is that the addition of the accessibility mats at the beaches in Goderich allow for inclusivity for all, especially for those who previously struggled to have a day at the beach.