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Newport Latest Oregon Coast Town to Get All-Terrain Track Chair for Accessibility

Published 12/16/23 at 5:2 a.m.
B
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Newport Latest Oregon Coast Town to Get All-Terrain Track Chair for Accessibility

(Newport, Oregon) – The Oregon coast just got a little more accessible for those with some disabilities who are visiting.

Newport is the latest town to get an all-terrain mobility track chair, the seventh now that Gold Beach, Manzanita, Pacific City, Seaside, Florence and Netarts all have them.

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Administrated by Newport Parks and Recreation Department, this new program allows the ultra-versatile chairs to be checked out at Don and Ann Davis Park in the Nye Beach area.

“The purpose of the program is to provide beach access for people facing mobility challenges. Anyone with mobility impairments including needing assistance with wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, canes, or crutches can use the chair free of charge,” said Newport Parks and Recreation Director Mike Cavanaugh.

Cavanaugh said the department is excited about this new addition and about working with the group David's Chair, along with volunteers that are helping them facilitate the program.

The Newport chair is currently available for use Friday through Sunday with several scheduled time slots of use on each day. Newport officials hope to expand the service during the summer months.

Use is free, but it takes a reservation ahead of time, made through the group's website, https://davidschair.org.

Earlier this fall, the group's Jeff Kallevig told Oregon Coast Beach Connection the Newport chair was coming soon as the Florence one was being implemented. In fact, the chair was already Newport then but was being tested and having staff trained on its use.

Tigard, Oregon also has one, as well as White City in California.

See the story behind the Gold Beach acquisition on the south coast. Gold Beach To Get All-Terrain Track Chair, First on South Oregon Coast

See the Tillamook County and Seaside acquisition stories. N. Oregon Coast's Seaside Gets Mobi-Mats for Wheelchair Access

David's Chair CEO and founder Steve Furst told Oregon Coast Beach Connection the Florence chair had been in the works for months. The town held a special track chair day back in May, which turned out quite successful.

This particular and unique type of electric all-terrain track chairs allow all kinds of movement on rough, uneven landscapes, including some rocky areas that are found on the Oregon coast.

“Anyone with mobility impairments, requiring the assistance of wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, canes or crutches, will be able to use these chairs free of charge,” Furst said.

They allow a new accessibility to what many take for granted, such as trails, lakes, rivers, and over difficult terrain such as sand or mud. All of a sudden, integral, experiential activities such as birdwatching or fishing become possible, along with simply enjoying the fresh air.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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