One of the wheelchairs adapted to bring people into the sea, Source: Diputación Foral de Bizkaia

Bizkayan beaches are truly for everyone

Bizkayan beaches are truly for everyone

Thanks to a summer programme which assists accessibility to sand and sea for people with disabilities

Between 1 July and 31 August, six beaches in the Basque province of Bizkaia will offer assisted bathing service programme, known locally as Hondartza Denonzat and partially financed by the Provincial Council. These services will be provided by Bidaideak, a local non-profit that specializes in assisting people with reduced mobility to participate in daily life and get transportation.

A day at the beach with zero worries

The six Bizkayan beaches where this specialized service will be provided are La Arena, Ereaga, Laidatxu, Isuntza, Arrigorri and Plentzia. A total of 21 monitors from Bidaideak are in charge of assisting and energizing the program from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., every day of the stated summer period.

To do this, they rely on 30 amphibious wheelchairs (9 of them are exclusive for people with mild dependency indices, 15 for people with a medium degree of dependency and another 7, for people with high dependency); 70 pairs of special crutches for walking on the sand and 4 hydraulic cranes that facilitate the team of monitors, in bringing users with serious mobility problems to the seawater. The assistance also includes the necessary infrastructure for care on each of the sandy strips, such as wooden platforms, tents, chairs, tables, adapted bathrooms and changing rooms.

This program is also complemented by an adapted transport service that Bidaideak operates every day so that the programme can take place allowing more people with mobility deficits to travel to these coastal destinations.

As part of the adaptation of this programme to the current circumstances, the capacity in the facilities has been reduced to maintain the safety distance set by the health authorities. Likewise, it is recommended that users of the service come with their own personal assistance resources when they need to use the changing rooms provided by the organizers.

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