A Day At The Beach With Reeve: Asbury Park, NJ & Beach Accessibility

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on August 15, 2019 # Events, Asbury

A Day At The Beach in Asbury Park, NJ

“Access represents freedom. The City of Asbury Park has become a landmark for diversity, acceptance, and growth. That’s why we decided to transform Asbury Park into a model city for accessibility and set a new gold standard.”

— The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s President & CEO, Peter Wilderotter

On Friday, July 26, 2019, the 29th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation held its inaugural, A Day At The Beach With Reeve.

For almost two years, people living with paralysis have been able to enjoy the beach as never before. Installation of interlocking mats on the Asbury Park Beach has allowed individuals with wheelchairs to get on the sand and closer to the water than ever!

A Day At The Beach With Reeve celebrated both a momentous step in equality, as well as another milestone to take Access Asbury and beach accessibility to a new level.

Community members, visitors, volunteers, foundation members, and local beachgoers flocked to Asbury Park’s 1st Avenue Beach with one goal: to raise awareness for the Access Asbury initiative. To make the event even more memorable, WaterWheels® was on hand to provide over twenty (20) individuals access to the ocean – something many have not experienced in years, let alone their lifetime.

With over one -hundred (100) people in attendance, the event was a resounding success, and, as Scott Chesney put it, “most wheelchair accessible beach experience ever!" The day's beach and aquatic celebrations concluded with a beach bonfire-- a classic Jersey shore past-time that brings all people together.

Among those in attendance were Mayor Asbury Park John Moor, Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn, City Councilwoman Eileen Chapman, Reeve Foundation Ambassador Scott Chesney and many more.

“This is a great event for Asbury Park and a great event for people [living with paralysis]. Today, there are so many people who actually have gone into the ocean for the first time ever, or for the first time in twenty, thirty, or forty years. They are so excited to be and we are so excited to have them here! We are so thankful to the Reeve Foundation for making Asbury Park’s beaches accessible, and using us as a pilot program.”

– Councilwoman Eileen Chapman

The success of the event was made possible by the efforts various sponsors, officials, and donations including:

WaterWheels® Are Making Waves On The Asbury Park Beach

Individuals with wheelchairs often have traction difficulty when they transition from the boardwalk onto the sand. Despite advancements in adaptive sports, getting to the ocean’s edge, let alone going for a swim, was once a challenge— but WaterWheels® has changed the game.

With wheels designed to maneuver over sand, getting to the ocean is easier than ever. Yet, what makes WaterWheels® a leader for accessibility is its buoyant features, making a swim in the Atlantic a newfound reality.

At the event, individuals living with paralysis were able to try out WaterWheels® to experience the beach and ocean in a new and complete way.

Christopher Zcasynski, a member of the paralysis community, had this to say after his first dip with the WaterWheels®: “That was awesome! Thank you Asbury Park. Thank you to The Reeve Foundation for making this possible!”