Disability community celebrates Beach:Ability at Constitution Beach

 On Saturday, more than 125 individuals with disabilities came together to enjoy a fun-filled day at Constitution Beach. 

The Beach:Ability at Constitution Beach program was created several years ago through a grant from Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Better Beaches program with support by DCR’s Universal Access program. The yearly event hosted by Triangle, Inc. highlights programs that make Massachusetts public beaches, like the one in Eastie, accessible to the disability community.

The Wallis family from Malden joined Triangle Inc. and Save the Harbor at Beach:Ability at Constitution Beach. Shown are dad Theron with daughter Sylvie using a floating swim chair.

As part of this year’s event, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay donated beach wheelchairs to three local non-profit organizations serving the disability community of greater Boston.

“It fills my heart with joy to see people of all ages and abilities come together on a beautiful summer day to celebrate clean water at Constitution Beach,” said Rep. Adrian Madaro, who Co-Chairs the Metropolitan Beaches Commission and was instrumental in securing funds to make Beach:Ability possible. “Thanks to Triangle, Inc. and Save the Harbor/Save the Bay for taking the lead and making it happen again this year.”

CEO of Triangle, Inc. Coleman Nee said Triangle was excited to return to Constitution Beach for its second Beach:Ability event. 

Triangle community members Liam (left) and Darrin (in chair) from Danvers head for the water’s edge with Triangle staffers Melissa Strout and John Kaiser and Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Chris Mancini.

“For many in the Disability Community, awareness of these amazing beaches and/or perceptions of their accessibility have, in the past, presented barriers to a fully inclusive public waterfront,” said Nee. “We hope that this event helps change those beliefs and highlights the great work of our partners at DCR’s Universal Access Program and Save the Harbor/Save the Bay to ensure that equipment such as mobi-mats, sand wheelchairs and floating swim chairs are available at all of Massachusetts public beaches.”

Executive Director of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay Chris Mancini said as part of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s steadfast commitment to accessibility, inclusion, diversity, and equity, he was thrilled to partner with Triangle to make sure the region’s amazing public beaches are welcoming to the disability community. 

“We are proud to extend these efforts by donating additional accessible sand and swim wheelchairs to area nonprofits serving the disability community, including the South Boston Neighborhood House, ARC of the South Shore, and Triangle,” he said. 

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Director of Development Patricia Salic was also moved by Beach:Ability and thanked all those that took part. She took a few moments on Saturday morning to thank Save the Harbor’s Better Beaches program and policy partners and event sponsors. These included  Harpoon Brewery, JetBlue, the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation, P&G Gillette, National Grid, Comcast, Beacon Capital Partners, Mix 104.1, Boston Centers for Youth & Families, The YMCA of Greater Boston, The Daily Catch, Boston Event Specialists, the Blue Sky Collaborative, and Keezer Sportswear for their support, as well as the nearly 1,000 individuals who contributed to the support of the Harpoon Shamrock Splash.

Saturday’s event was one of scores of events planned for the region’s public beaches from Nahant to Nantasket this summer, as part of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Better Beaches program partnership with DCR. To find out more about events on your favorite beach, visit their website at www.savetheharbor.org and follow @savetheharbor on social media.

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