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Summer is the time for people of all abilities to enjoy the outdoors. There are numerous programs and sites that offer a variety of accessible outdoor recreation activities throughout the Commonwealth.

Visitors to MA state parks are provided with equal access through the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) Universal Access Program. The program provides adaptive equipment and accessible recreation programs and works to ensure accessibility in outdoor environments.  Many state parks offer adaptive/inclusive programs for hiking, boating, cycling, birding, camping, and fishing as well as accessible interpretive programs. State Parks and Recreation has 20 free, lift-equipped outdoor swimming pools. Massachusetts also has wildlife sanctuaries with certain trails that are accessible to all. Many Massachusetts beaches are accessible and offer beach wheelchairs that are able to travel over sand and or accessible beach mats.

Child and young girl smiling

Outdoor recreation is available for people of all ages and abilities.

Those who want to get out on the water can take advantage of adaptive sailing and boating programs that provide specialized boats and transfer equipment.  The Steamship Authority’s four traditional vessels to Woods Hole, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard are fully accessible. The Steamship Authority also offers discounted fares for passengers with disabilities and free travel for legally blind passengers.

There are plenty of opportunities for individuals with disabilities of all ages to engage in a wide variety of outdoor sports. Both children and adults can find adapted high-challenge sports and training. There are also free integrated sports programs for children. For an adapted version of our national pastime, the Association of Blind Citizens’ Boston Renegades Beep Ball Team is always looking for new players and volunteers.

This post names just a few of the many inclusive outdoor programs and activities available in Massachusetts. If you are looking for information on programs in your area, The Massachusetts Office on Disability can point you to organizations that can provide a listing of specific programs. We invite you to share any accessible activities or locations you have found exceptional in the comments section.

Disclaimer: The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) is not affiliated with and does not endorse the above-mentioned programs and organizations. 

 

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