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Senator Flanagan And Assemblywoman Miller Working To Make Beaches Accessible

John J. Flanagan

August 16, 2017

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) recently announced that, in partnership with Assemblywoman Melissa Miller (20th Assembly District), he has sponsored legislation to make the state’s beaches more accessible to all New Yorkers.  The legislation would require all state beaches provide accessibility to mobility impaired persons to the high tide water line when possible, unless there is a physical barrier.

The legislation will help ensure New York State is better compliant with federal ADA guidelines and regulations.

Assemblywoman Miller recently joined Atlantic Beach Mayor George Pappas and other elected officials to roll out new mobility mats purchased by the Village to expand accessibility on its beaches.  The mats lay flat on the sand and make it easier for those who are using wheelchairs, walkers, strollers, or other mobility devices to get to the shoreline. These mats are currently used to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

"As a mother of a child with disabilities and an advocate, I experience daily the partial accessibility across New York State,” said Assemblywoman Miller.  “As a Long Islander, this issue is especially frustrating to me because my family loves going to the beach.  My son, Oliver, absolutely adores the water and it has been extremely challenging to get him to the ocean.  I am grateful to Mayor Pappas and the Village of Atlantic Beach for going above and beyond by providing more than just the legal minimum access onto the beach.  Now all residents, including the disabled, seniors and families with strollers, will have reasonable accessibility to the water.”

“Each and every New Yorker deserves to have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful beaches our region and state provide regardless of their mobility.  It is important that we do all we can to provide them with the resources they need to do so and I am happy to be working with Assemblywoman Miller to increase accessibility for all who want to enjoy our waterfront areas,” stated Senate Majority Leader Flanagan.  “I thank Mayor Pappas for taking quick action to provide greater accessibility to Atlantic beaches, and I thank Assemblywoman Miller for her exceptional advocacy and representation on behalf of all individuals with disabilities.”

Many local governments, including the Town of Brookhaven and the Town of Smithtown, already utilize these mats so that all their residents can enjoy our waterfront.  The legislation that Senator Flanagan and Assemblywoman Miller are sponsoring would make sure that all state facilities are equally as accessible to allow all to enjoy the state’s beaches.