Water wheelchairs make beach accessible to disabled

SARASOTA, FL (NBC) - For most, a trip to the beach includes a stroll on the sand and a dip in the water, but if you use a wheelchair, your beach experience usually ends at the boardwalk.

That has changed for those visiting Sarasota County, FL beaches.

Sarasota County has purchased several Mobi-Chairs that can glide across the sand and float in the water, bringing beach access to those with disabilities.

Jeff Olson, who works for Mobi-Chair, knows firsthand the benefits of the chair. His wife, Ann, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

"As her MS got greater, she was denied the opportunity to get out to places she used to get. I'm trying to open those doors again, not just for her, but for everybody," Olson said.

No longer will locals like Ann be resigned to simply watching others enjoy the water.

"The water is nice and cool and it gives me an opportunity to be with my husband and share this experience of being out on the beach," Ann Olson said.

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