All-Terrain Wheelchairs

The All Terrain Georgia initiative, driven by the motto “Everyone deserves a chance to play,” provides free all-terrain wheelchairs at select Georgia parks for individuals facing physical challenges. These robust, motorized wheelchairs, resembling off-road vehicles with large, sturdy wheels, play a practical role in improving access to outdoor spaces.

In collaboration with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Aimee Copeland Foundation, founded by Aimee Copeland—an integrative therapist and outdoor enthusiast who faced a life-changing accident resulting in amputations, established her foundation to promote healing for people of all abilities by creating accessible outdoor environments.

These all-terrain wheelchairs are specifically engineered to navigate rough, wet, sandy, or snowy terrains, enabling individuals who may struggle with traditional wheelchairs to explore trails safely. Given that 11.1% of U.S. adults have a mobility disability, and only a limited percentage of national park trails are wheelchair-friendly, the initiative addresses a significant need.

The all-terrain wheelchairs can be expensive, costing between $13,000 to nearly $30,000. Luckily, All Terrain Georgia offers free wheelchair usage to eligible individuals who meet requirements, get certified, make reservations, and have a buddy for assistance at participating state parks in Georgia.

Melanie Dunn, a double amputee and the assistant director of the Aimee Copeland Foundation, stresses the practical impact of experiencing nature. The initiative aims to help individuals with mobility impairments feel a sense of normalcy, connected to friends and family while enjoying outdoor activities like fishing or picnicking at Georgia State Parks.

Looking ahead, the foundation plans to extend its reach by moving the all-terrain wheelchairs to other parks within the Georgia Department of Natural Resources System.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *