Cape Cod has long been known for its focus on inclusiveness and respect for all cultures. But until recently, vacationing on the Cape for parents and spouses of people with disabilities was uniquely challenging. Most motels and rentals aren’t ideal for wheelchair use, and the Cape’s vaunted beaches and ponds can be an obstacle course rather than a haven for children and adults with mobility issues.
Thanks to the non-profit organization, SMILE Mass — Small Miracles in Life Exist — vacationing on the Cape just got a little easier. North Truro is now home to a newly renovated beach-accessible condo. Located at 544 Shore Road adjacent to the Beach Point and Noon’s Landing neighborhoods, the condo is a two-story, 1,100 sf oceanfront home. Located steps away from the ocean, the house includes an entry ramp, open first floor layout as well as a roll-in shower. As a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom model, the home sleeps six easily as well as features parking space for four cars. The condo is also equipped with a wheelchair-friendly mat that extends the deck as well as a specially designed beach wheelchair that easily rolls across the sand into Cape Cod Bay. With its beachfront location, vacationers have a clear view of the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown, as well as water views from multiple vantage points.
Establishing a beach-friendly and accessible vacation rental has been a longstanding dream for SMILE Mass founders, Lotte Diomede and Susan Brown, who both have children with disabilities. Each encountered difficulties in finding handicapped-accessible vacation properties that lived up to their billing and were aesthetically pleasing. For the last eight years, Smile Mass has donated floating beach wheelchairs with big balloon tires, that can easily traverse sand and float on water, to ponds and beaches up and down the Cape. The organization has also helped place chairs in waterfront locations as far away as New Hampshire and Maine, well as Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
In addition to the floating beach wheelchairs, renters at 544 Shore Road will also have access to a full range of SMILE Mass equipment and toys ranging from adaptive bicycles and tricycles to a hoyer lift, kick sleds and bath equipment and strollers.
The Townhouse is available annually, starting in June, with a minimum stay of two days. For information about the townhouse or other mobility equipment, contact SMILE Mass at email@example.com or visit https://smilemass.org/