“Creating better beach access for people with disabilities.”
That’s the motto of Beach Days for All, an Ocean County-based organization led by Jessica Miscio and Chris Aldrich.
In 2017, Miscio, a resident of Beachwood who grew up in Seaside Park and the mother of two daughters with special needs, realized that local beaches are not accessible enough.
“Spending a day on the beach isn’t easy for most with physical handicaps,” she told WHYY in 2017.
The led her to form Beach Days for All, a federally recognized non-profit organization, and begin fundraising.
Within a matter of weeks, Seaside Park approved a fully handicapped-accessible beach at F Street, and Matrax, Inc. donated durable accessibility mats and installation labor.
Miscio and Aldrich faced some challenges during the summer of 2018 and earlier this summer because of the newly reconfigured beaches after replacement. But that never stopped the pair from their fundraising and awareness efforts and events.
On Friday, Beach Days for All hosted a ribbon-cutting at the now handicapped-accessible Maryland Avenue beach, known as “Callan’s Way,” in Point Pleasant Beach.
Miscio cited the support of Mayor Stephen Reid for making the dream a reality, and she said after the event she met with another interested mayor.
“One beach at a time,” Miscio said. “Words will never be able to express the gratitude I have to all of the supporters of Beach Days for All.”