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Sep 15, 2003
Florida offers an astounding array of accessible fun for its 2 million annual visitors and many more residents who use canes, walkers or wheelchairs. But how do you find out about it all? Even Florida’s residents with mobility impairments aren’t aware of the unique opportunities around them.

Florida has special wheelchairs to enjoy its sugar sand beaches, accessible sailing and dolphin swims, adaptive golf carts, bicycles you pedal by arm, horseback riding, even hang gliding and water skiing for folks with disabilities.

Now, for the first time, there’s a comprehensive source so both visitors and residents can learn about accessible fun both on and off the beaten path. Wheelchairs on the Go: Accessible Fun in Florida ( is a 424-page travel guide jam-packed with descriptions of access to beaches, theme parks, tourist attractions, sports stadiums, lodging, typical vacation activities, plus quirky fun and thrills.

“We’ve lived and traveled here more than 20 years and still discover hidden gems that Florida offers physically challenged folks who want to have fun,” explains co-author Michelle Stigleman whose husband is a quadriplegic injured in a high school football game. With over 30 years of traveling with her adventurous but wheelchair-bound husband, Stigleman has learned how to avoid the disappointment of arriving somewhere only to find a place could not accommodate his needs. “With Wheelchairs on the Go, families can avoid those disappointments,” says Stigleman, “and hopefully try things they might never have thought possible.”

Because of the warm climate, flat terrain and excellent access for its sizable senior population, Florida is an ideal vacation spot for those with mobility impairments. The tourist industry has discovered the financial sense in going beyond legal requirements to appeal to this sector. Some resorts feature beach wheelchairs and swimming pools with ramps or lifts. Many charming B&Bs can accommodate someone using a lift to get into their plush Victorian beds. Increasingly, campgrounds designate sites with roll-under picnic tables and paved paths to bathhouses with roll-in showers.

Here’s a sample of Florida’s accessible fun -

■ 80 beaches loan beach wheelchairs to cross the sand, surf cast from the shore and explore trails.
■ SportsAbility Days are a chance to try out sports, from horseback riding and basketball to hand cycling and quad rugby.
■ Shake-A-Leg Miami offers introductory sails, classes and regattas in untippable, unsinkable boats with all lines controlled from the cockpit.
■ Reef Raiders has a hoist to lift snorkelers in and out of the water from a roll-aboard catamaran.
■ Mount Dora offers the mobility impaired high adventure in gliders, hang gliders and hot air balloons.
■ Palm RV Center rents an RV with a wheelchair lift, roll-in shower and hand controls.
■ Dolphins Plus features recreational and therapeutic dolphin swims using a platform that lowers into the water.
■ Foxfire Golf Club has adaptive golf carts for disabled duffers to swivel out to take their swings.
These options and hundreds more are detailed in Wheelchairs on the Go © 2002.

Florida’s mature and mobility impaired visitors and residents will find Wheelchairs on the Go the key to accessible good times! This book comes highly recommended from SATH (Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality) for all of Florida’s residents and visitors. Due to the book’s extensive resource lists, six indexes and thirteen maps it is the perfect travel planner. The paperback book has no advertising, can be purchased and will be updated online at