By Breanne Massey
The wheels are in motion to help curb mobility issues in the Columbia Valley and promote a sense of unity in the outdoors.
Access in the Community for Everyone (ACE) spokesperson Spring Hawes has helped roll out a new asset the Mobi-Mat to help open doors for people with limited mobility or wheelchairs.
The District of Invermere has received a great new asset to help make public access easier on uneven surfaces like sand and snow, said Ms. Hawes. Through the combined efforts of ACE, the Panorama Foundation and the District of Invermere (DOI), a portable, flexible roll-out mat has been purchased and donated to the DOI. It is hoped that it will be used to improve access at the beach and at public events, such as the Snowflake Festival, Pond Hockey and Bonspiel on the Lake.
The Mobi-Mat is a patented roll-out non-slip portable mat used to improve access for wheelchairs, strollers, bicycles and ATVs at beaches, condos and hotels. It is made of 100 per cent polyester and recycled plastics to offer people a safe and clean surface to access areas with uneven surfaces.
Although its great for wheelchairs, said Ms. Hawes, it could be used by anyone with strollers, walkers, canes or crutches. It makes the surface smooth and its portable.
The goal is to increase accessibility at the beach or, during the winter, over snow.
This is one of the last initiatives that ACE is a part of, Ms. Hawes added. Weve been in the community for quite a while now, but volunteer hours were in short supply and we found (as a group) that it was more than we could manage in our lives.
She added the Mobi-Mat is now available for people to use.
Its being donated by ACE to the DOI, said Ms. Hawes. Its sort of like our last gift to the community (through) the DOI. We hope that the district embraces this new asset and uses it within the community that would be our hope.
DOI chief administrative officer Chris Prosser was unavailable to provide the specifics about the rental use for the Mobi-Mat before The Pioneer went to press. However, he said he is eager to make the Mobi-Mat easily accessible to the community.
We have not set a fee to rent it out, but community groups will be able to use it if they need it, Mr. Prosser replied by email. They will be able to sign out a key to gain access to it and take it to their event. We will request a security deposit of some kind to ensure it gets returned in good shape and on time.