For people who have serious mobility issues, spinal cord injuries, or head injuries in Miami Beach or South Florida, going to the beach can be less than carefree. For them, the beach is less about sunscreen and catching some sun and more about trying to navigate a space that is not always friendly for those who have mobility issues.
Most beaches are difficult to navigate because the sand makes it hard to get around in a wheelchair or with braces. Most beaches also have boardwalks with stairs, which can be a challenge for visitors and residents with serious injuries. Car accidents in Miami Beach and other communities can also happen on beaches if beachgoers cannot move out of the way in time to avoid a car or patrol vehicle driving along packed sand.
Even getting into the water can be a big obstacle without assistance. While many beaches provide some adaptive features – such as wheelchair mats – many beach facilities are not accessible to someone with mobility challenges. For example, wheelchair mats generally do not go to the sand or the water. Many water sports equipment is not accessible, and many picnic areas are too high for wheelchair users.