In its latest move towards inclusivity, Greece has now implemented a programme where hundreds of beaches would be made accessible to people with reduced mobility. The system is a free service that oﬀers unassisted sea access to people with disabilities and mobility issues.
The country is introducing a Greek-designed Seatrac system for wheelchair-bound people. Currently, nearly 150 beaches have undergone the changes while the rest would be done soon.
Vassilis Kikilias, Greece’s tourism minister, announced the initiative at a press conference last month, per the Greek Reporter’s Tasos Kokkinidis. As part of the $16.5 million (€15 million) project, the country is also making accessibility updates to restrooms, changing facilities, parking, snack bars, walkways and other amenities.
In total, the government plans to improve access to 287 beaches across the nation. So far, crews have already completed work on 147 of them.
Kikilias described equal access to the sea as an “inalienable human right” and said the project aims to give people with mobility challenges “the opportunity to participate in beach activities with family and friends, enhancing the quality of life for everyone,” per the Greek Reporter.
“People with disabilities and people with limited mobility can engage in activities such as swimming that contribute to their physical and mental health,” he added.
“Seatrac system does not provide only independent access to the sea,” Ignatios Fotiou, who helped develop the technology, to the Washington Post. “It provides dignity and independence to people with mobility issues that want to enjoy swimming. They can choose where to go and ask their friends to join them, not the other way around.”
The government of the country created a website for all the info needed to plan a wheelchair-included trip to the beaches of Greece, including a map of all the beaches nearby equipped with the Seatracs.