Bay Area SCI community urged to turn out in support of accessible recreational facilities

On June 2nd, we collaborated with Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) and other organizations to hold the Day on the Lake event at Vasona Lake & Park where about 100 individuals with disabilities were able to take part in water-based recreational activities such as kayaking and canoeing.

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Though it was a wildly successful event in terms of attendance, it was a major challenge to hold this event with boating facilities that are not accessible at all for individuals with physical challenges.  We’re now realizing that none of the Santa Clara County lakes with water-based recreational facilities are accessible for the disabled.

This is where we urgently need your help.

On Mon., Aug. 13th at 4 p.m., the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors is actually presenting SCVMC with a commendation recognizing the June 2nd Day on the Lake event.  We need to convey to the Board of Supervisors the importance of events like the June 2nd one not being just an annual thing but part of the routine options that other able-bodied individuals have access to and that the County must invest in making its recreational facilities completely accessible.  Basically, we need to make some noise that this is an important issue of equality for our community.

While ground zero is Santa Clara County, we want this to have a cascading effect on all the other counties throughout the state.  Hence, it is important to make a major statement because other counties will take note of what happens at the sixth largest county in California.

Our preference, and it is more powerful, is to have you be part of the contingent of wheelchair users (family members or others supporting this movement are welcome to participate) to attend the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on Mon., Aug. 13th at 4 p.m.  Nothing is more powerful than that image the Supervisors would have to look at.  If you’re able to attend that meeting, the address is:  70 West Hedding St., San Jose, First Floor, Board Chambers.

If you’re unable to attend, please send an e-mail with your thoughts about the importance of events like Day on the Lake but, more importantly, the significant need to have equal access to recreational facilities and activities at all County facilities and why that’s important to you.  All the e-mails will be made available to the supervisors and will be part of the public record.  Send your e-mail BY FRIDAY, AUGUST 10 to:  boardoperations@cob.sccgov.org

If our voices are not heard, nothing will change or change will come very slowly.  This is a unique opportunity to leverage a successful event into an advocacy platform to support making facilities accessible to anyone, regardless of their physical abilities.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION TODAY. We hope to see you at the Board meeting but if not, please write the e-mail today.