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Grampians trial

A wheelchair-bound Newstead man and Parks Victoria rangers have trialled a new all-terrain wheelchair in the Grampians as part the Victorian Government’s Go For Your Life program.
Dr David Stratton, who has multiple sclerosis and been in a wheelchair for about seven years, brought the wheelchair to the notice of Parks Victoria through his love of nature.
He said he had first used the chair in Canada and was delighted Parks Victoria was pursuing the concept.
“To be able to reconnect with nature and the places and activities I love brought tears to my eyes. I encourage anyone in a wheelchair to support this new venture and experience the great outdoors,“ he said.
Parks Victoria has bought the chair to loan to park visitors free of charge.
Grampians ranger in charge David Roberts said he thought the idea of all-terrain wheelchairs was perfect for the Grampians when Mr Stratton first spoke to him this year.
“It is difficult for people with physical disabilities to access parks, particularly those in remote and regional areas,” Mr Roberts said.
“One of the key reasons has been that tracks, trails and beaches are not suitable for conventional wheelchairs. The most beautiful areas of the state are hard to get to and that’s part of their appeal. What this trial is about is making those areas more accessible for all.”
As part of a range of plans to improve park access for all people, Parks Victoria will trial the introduction of special all-terrain and beach wheelchairs in parks across the state.
“The wheelchairs are designed to enable park visitors with a significant physical disability to access many bushwalking trails and beaches with carer support,” Mr Roberts said.
Dr Stratton said he hoped the use of all-terrain wheelchairs would become prominent across Victoria.
“Our next goal, Tasmania!” Dr Stratton said.

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Posted on Jun 29 2011

Posted by on Jun 29 2011. Filed under Health & Lifestyle, Tourism. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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