No clothes, no tan lines, no obstacles: Dade County’s only nude public beach has installed a wheelchair ramp that has handicapped sunbathers tickled pink all over.
“I’m really pleased that it’s here, obviously,” Fred Shotz, who has a joint disorder, said as he soaked up the sun in the buff. “It’s a real benefit to people who are disabled who want to use this beach.”
The county paid $18,500 for the 150-foot ramp, which stretches over the dunes to the half-mile “clothing-optional” strip of Haulover Beach.
The county also expects to spend up to $30,000 more on closer parking for disabled nudists.
Before the ramp was completed last month, Shotz had to call ahead to have a park employee wheel him over to the nude zone.
“People would come over the stairway and carry your stuff,” Shotz said Thursday. “They even carried people in wheelchairs up the steps and down across the beach.”
Haulover is Florida’s only nude public beach with a ramp that makes it accessible to the disabled, said Shirley Mason, former president of South Florida Free Beaches, a nudist organization.
Activists demanded the ramp after Congress in 1990 passed the Americans With Disabilities Act,