Sarasota‒Manatee, Florida | March 19th, 2019 – The strict compliance of local communities with the American Disabilities Act (ADA) is among the reasons why households with some family members having special needs chose the Sarasota‒Manatee area either to visit or settle in.
A tour of our neighbor, the Resort at Longboat Key Club, easily demonstrates the ADA-friendly features which help sell both hotel rooms and local residences. This resort, which is flanked by several luxury condos and upscale communities like L’Ambiance and Lighthouse Point, can accommodate mobility-accessible needs via self-operated lifts or sloped entryways.
These setups are in place not only in the resort club’s main entrance and registration, business center and meeting rooms. Similar features could be found in various other resort areas, such as the fitness enter, restaurants, and lounges. Besides ADA-friendly curb cuts, there are flat walk ways and wheelchair ramps throughout the resort as well.
Beach-accessible wheelchairs are likewise available for resort guests with mobility issues, and the beach sand is packed flat, making the shoreline handicap-accessible. At the resort’s pool, there is a handicap lift as well. The resort club’s spa, marina, golf links, and tennis courts are also ADA-compliant, and mobility-accessible guest rooms are available too.
Other major attractions around Sarasota, like parks and beaches, provide accessibility to the handicapped. At the world-famous Siesta Key Beach, a 400-foot long, five-foot wide Mobi-Mat is laid out from the pavilion area to facilitate wheelchair access to the water. Sand underneath the mat is leveled flat every three weeks to help maintain the beach setup.
The beaches in Lido Key, Venice, and Nokomis, as well as the North Jetty Beaches, don’t have access mats. However, these beaches provide wheelchair-accessible facilities, including their boardwalks, restrooms, concessions, and covered seating areas. Venice, in particular, has a handicapped-accessible beach park—the Chauncy Howard Park which was named after a community activist. Boardwalks and picnic areas accessible to the handicapped are also one of the attractions in the Service Club Park in Venice.
Beach wheelchairs can be obtained free of charge from the life guard towers in the beaches of Lido Key, Nokomis, North Jetty, Venice, and in the Manasota Beaches. These are available daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Outside of those hours, arrangements can be made with the Sarasota County ADA Coordinator three days prior to the visit.
Barrier-free Nature Parks
Many of the preserves and parks in Sarasota County offer features allowing all visitors to enjoy the natural environment. Amongst these are the ADA-approved fitness stations and paved trails at the Urfer Family Park in Sarasota. Similar setups are provided at the West Blalock Park in Venice, enabling all visitors to enjoy its Monty Andrews Arboretum.
In North Port, wheelchair-accessible concrete pathways meander through the 16-acre Garden of the Five Senses. This park flaunts native plantings, a small waterfall, and related displays all designed to bring a delightful sensory experience.
Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey is another destination that offers several handicap-accessible amenities including campsites and picnic pavilions. One favorite is the park’s barrier-free Lester Finley Trail traversing a hardwood hammock around a tidal creek. Passing by two butterfly gardens, this trail also winds up in a fishing pier equipped for the handicapped.
Community facilities inclusive to all bring the quality of life in our region to a high level. These features are indeed strong selling points to local properties, and there are plenty more to discover. Check with our Judy Kepecz-Hays team for more on the strengths of Sarasota-Manatee communities that drive the region’s real estate market.
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