Others have spoken out harshly about the proposal [to build an adaptive facility for people with disabilities on Miami Beach], arguing that people with disabilities should be in a pool, not the ocean, that having them in the water would be a liability to the city, and that the facility would limit the public’s access to the beach.
“My specific concern is that we are benefiting special interests and limiting the right of the general public to use the beach and the park,” said resident Diana L. Rodriguez at a public hearing in April.
The tone of the debate has offended those who want to see people with disabilities have easier and more frequent access to the ocean. Conversely, they feel the facility will make the beach more inclusive, so the disabled and able-bodied can enjoy the ocean together.
“I think [their arguments] are just completely silly,” said Susan Solmon, a podiatric physician and clinical pharmacist who has benefited from the adaptive beach days. “They are made by people who are scared of something that they don’t know. I would encourage them to come out and be part of an adaptive beach day.”