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August Accessibility News Round-Up

Some fun news for a Friday! Writer and wheelchair user Sophie Morgan enjoyed the first wheelchair-accessible safari in South Africa’s Klaserie National Park. “The African bush and all of its delights are just waiting to linger in the memories of those who are able to experience her. Now, the world’s first luxury wheelchair-accessible safari is ensuring that privilege can belong to everyone.”

In the US, here are 10 Wheelchair-friendly Trails Through the Country’s Best National Parks. These accessible national park trails are suitable for people using wheelchairs, scooters, crutches, and walkers.

In my home state, our Great Minnesota Get-Together (State Fair) started just yesterday, Thursday August 24th, 2023. And runs through Labor Day, September 4th, 2023. This year they’ve made some improvements to make it even more inclusive. Their accessibility guide provides information about:

  • Mobility options, including electrical outlets for recharging electric mobility scooters
  • ASL interpreting services
  • Captioning services
  • Audio description services
  • Sensory friendly visits
  • Service animals

Last month was Disability Pride Month. It’s a time for us to celebrate within the disability community, sure. But also to put the spotlight on some challenges we face. In the case of athlete Alex Parra, it is the high cost of athletic prosthetics:

When I was told that a running blade was going to cost $35,000 I thought I was never going to be able to run again. My life changed when I received my running blade from the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Not from my medical provider or from the help of insurance but from a non profit that was willing to help

As time went on I realized there needs to be change so I wanted to bring awareness to the disability community and how much that we have to spend on any disabled equipment or medical devices that we NEED.

So I wanted to run a Marathon on crutches. Although I didn’t finish the 26 miles (16 miles total) I was still able to accomplish something that I never thought I would’ve been capable of doing

This would not have been possible without everyone’s love and support along the way so truly from the bottom of my heart thank you. With your help we have been able to raise a total of $2500 and bring change along the way!

Alex Parra

Last but not least, I love this silent disco story. Vibrating haptic suits give deaf people a new way to feel live music. Made possible by Music: Not Impossible. An off-shoot of Not Impossible Labs, which uses new technology to address social issues like poverty and disability access. A recent event at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts called “Silent Disco: An Evening of Access Magic” showcased the suit’s potential.

Concert goers dancing at the Silent Disco dance party at Lincoln Center, New York City on Saturday, July 1, 2023. Haptic suits designed for the deaf community were provided by Music: Not Impossible.
Lanna Apisukh for NPR
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