Ocean Wheelchair for Florida Residents and Veterans


The city of Deerfield Beach, FL now has four new ocean wheelchairs –  wheelchairs that can travel on sand without getting stuck, and float in beach water. The floating wheelchairs are free to rent for those that have a need for them while at the beach. Locals Terry and David Rittenhouse are responsible for bringing the chairs to Deerfield beach, forming a non-profit organization called Broward Sealegs, which raised money to buy the chairs to make the beach accessible for people with spinal cord injuries, MS, and disabled vets. The Rittenhouse’s are certain that the chairs will be a hit amongst the elder beach bodies since it is difficult for most of them to traverse through the sand to get to the water.

Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.