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Grantee Blog 2020

The Increasing Need for Accessibility

We are living in a unique time where a minority group that is usually overlooked is becoming the
majority. I am talking about senior citizens. The aging Baby Boomers or Boomers are bringing
much needed attention to the current challenges faced by an elderly population. Baby Boomers
make up a significant portion of the population and thus have shifted senior citizens to one of the
majority groups. Therefore our priorities must shift in order to cater towards the needs of this
group of individuals with limited mobility.
The Raritan Valley YMCA recognizes these needs and endeavors to stimulate real change. It is
our goal to engage community leaders in the review of their community parks and sidewalks.
Our grant will enable us to create an interactive assessment process that will help them examine
and understand the accessibility of their facilities for use by the physically disabled and older
adult population, review their complete streets policy and make environmental and policy
changes that will help the physically challenged.
As mentioned in one of our previous posts, our work PathVu will be key to accomplishing our
goals. Here I will go more into the details and methods to be utilized in our project.
Our work with PathVu is off to a great start! We have outlined some key features to be included
within the website. It will be location based, meaning parks will be listed based on distance to
users. We also found a need for information regarding methods of transportation to the parks.
We are now in the process of park selection. Once that is done our staff at the Y will assess the
parks. This will be done by use of the mobile app PathVu is creating for us. Trails and pathways
will then be assigned a level of accessibility. The level of accessibility will help users choose the
park that best fits their needs.
We are excited and eager to continue our work with PathVu on this project!

About the Grantee

Raritan Valley YMCA

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. To learn more about the Raritan Valley YMCA programs, health and wellness, visit www.raritanvalleyymca.org or call 732-257-4114. The Y is located at 144 Tices Lane in East Brunswick.