‘Important’ accessibility equipment for winter activities showcased in HRM event – Halifax

The Halifax Regional Municipality held its first ‘Try It Out’ Day to encourage residents with accessibility needs to explore the municipality’s inventory of accessible outdoor equipment.

The drop-in event was held Saturday at Shubie Park in Dartmouth, where parents and youth who want to participate in winter activities, but don’t always have access to gear, could test out adaptive winter equipment.

The city’s inclusion and accessibility specialist Cassady Yochoff said the HRM wants to get the word out that it has useful supplies people can borrow – at no cost.

“What we’re looking for is to host events that everyone can participate in, regardless of ability,” Yochoff said.

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The recreation therapist said they had hoped for snow so folks could try out their accessible sleds, but as the day brought mostly cloudy and dry weather, the focus was on other activities.

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The event was targeted towards youth, but Yochoff said adults are also welcome to try equipment out and borrow it.

“When it’s wintertime everybody, of all abilities, maybe feel like they have less chance to get outdoors … but then particularly when you add on a disability… there’s all kinds of things that make it challenging,” Yochoff said.

“So we’re hoping to offer some things to say ‘it is still fun and there are ways to get out in the wintertime, and we have some equipment that’s free for people to use.”

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One young participant of the event, Lucy Unsworth said though she’s only in a chair temporarily, it’s a great program for kids who aren’t able to participate in winter activities.

“It’s really important to have this equipment for people,” she said.

Vanessa Wright / Global News

Though this is the first time the HRM has hosted an event centered around adaptive equipment, it won’t be the last.

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Yochoff said the municipality is hoping to hold a similar event in the summer, showcasing some of the equipment it has on hand to help people take part in warm weather activities.

— With files from Vanessa Wright. 

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