Outdoors for All: Adaptive equipment, all-terrain wheelchairs, accessible cabins available

Courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

WISCONSIN – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is committed to providing exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities for people of all abilities. DNR adaptive equipment rentals and all-terrain wheelchair reservations through Access Ability Wisconsin (AAW) help ensure that everyone can make memories and learn new skills in Wisconsin’s outdoors.

Wisconsinites have access to seasonal adaptive equipment at select state parks, including:

  • Adaptive kayaks
  • Beach wheelchairs
  • Accessible beach mats
  • Cross country sit-skis

Additionally, Access Ability Wisconsin provides reservable all-terrain wheelchairs (OWC) throughout the state that can be used for hunting, birding, fishing or exploring. Reserving a chair through AAW is easy and free by filling out a simple online form on AAW’s website, www.accessabilitywi.org/.

Picking up the OWC and trailer does require access to a vehicle that can tow more than 1,150 pounds. Reservations are recommended a week or two in advance for the best chance of securing one when needed. The OWC can be kept for up to two weeks, as long as no others are waiting to use the same chair. No special permits are required to use these devices on DNR lands.

Accessible cabins and permits

In addition to adaptive equipment, the DNR provides ten accessible cabins at select state parks and forests, including eight large cabins and two smaller, rustic cabins. For those who would prefer to camp in a tent or RV, the DNR also offers accessible campsites at every state park and forest.

Also, hunters with certain physical disabilities are allowed special permits, such as shooting from a motor vehicle. Some Wisconsin residents with disabilities are also eligible for a discount on their annual fishing licenses. And, since the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), every fishing pier the DNR builds is accessible to people with disabilities.

Learn more about recreation options for individuals with disabilities and view adaptive equipment options at state properties on the DNR’s website at www.dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/OpenOutdoors.

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