From now on, the mountain will be accessible to everyone, also for those who are on a wheelchair in the everyday life, but always want to travel.
For disabled people, Lazio proposes 17 different mountain itineraries located and mapped by CAI (Italian Alpine Club), for the Lazio Handicap project, promoted by the Region.
One of these is the “Sentiero del Porticciolo” - located in the “Parco della Riviera di Ulisse”, in Gianola di Formia (Latina) - which has been made for blind people, with Braille charts and wooden handrails which guarantee safety and orientation. For each path have been made available wheelchairs for the mountain and helpers of CAI.
As explained Rita Visini, assessor of social politics and sport, the initiative has been supported by the Region to allow everyone, also disabled people, to discover and enjoy beauties of the territory.
Particularities of these paths are acronyms such as LH or LHT: the first one (Lazio Handicap escursione) represents itineraries suggested for those who have moving problems and use particular transportations; the second one (Lazio Handicap escursione Tattile) represents trails for blind people who can count on helpers or go autonomously following the handrail to be safer and better oriented.
In fact, the mountain paths or a river’s ford can be impossible feats using a normal wheelchair without the help of someone.
This problem was constantly on the brain of Tim Morgan, engineer of Bath and keen of mountain bike. Eight years ago he built the first wheelchair for the outdoor because he wanted to make autonomous also disabled travelers, for a no limits adventure in the nature.
After years, several prototypes and some mistakes, Morgan has created Mountain Trike, a transportation that can be driven activating two levers with the arms. These levers broadcast the movement to wheels, allowing to choose the direction activating the third posterior wheel. This wheelchair has hydraulic disk brakes, mountain bike tires and a stronger and lighter chassis. You can fold it during the carriage in the car. The only default is the price: 3995 pounds (including three years warranty and a post sales assistance).
Instead, in Italy you can try the invention of five disabled people from Cuneo, which are gather under the name of “Movimento di libertà”. They invented an “off road electric bike” with knobbed tires. It is called Going and it’s a kind of segway-wheelchair: it holds two wheels and control systems with the body weight but with a seatback in addition.
As the model costs 16 thousand Euro, the group of Movimento in Libertà proposed the project to CAI and to “Parchi cuneesi Marguareis e Alpi Marittime”. This great collaboration with foundations allows to do trekking in the mountain also for those who lost the use of their legs, in complete autonomy.