The Sabrina Cohen Foundation (SCF) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to developing adaptive fitness and recreational programs, in addition to funding innovative therapies that will provide a better quality of life for individuals living with paralysis and various disabilities.
SCF has been working with the City of Miami Beach to create the first fully-accessible beach, playground and an adaptive recreation center for the disabled, including seniors, veterans and children with special needs. The programming will be open to residents and visitors in Miami Beach.
Foundation / Adaptive Beach Plans
Phase I: Programming for the beach project began summer 2016. With the support from the City of Miami Beach, SCF has created a one of a kind adaptive beach program that provides access to the beach and ocean using a platform of decks/mats over the sand, beach wheelchairs and a team of specialized staff and volunteers to help disabled participants in and out of the water. Since the launch of our “Adaptive Beach Days” beginning May 2016, we have served over 500 guests, including disabled residents of Miami Beach and Dade County, disabled tourists, family, friends, and volunteers from Miami Beach Senior High, Ocean Rescue, University of Miami, Florida International University, Jackson Memorial and Miami Physical Therapy.
Phase II: Spearheaded by SCF, the City has approved plans to fund an adaptive playground, which is slated to begin construction end of 2016 – 6475 Collins Avenue.
Phase III: Adaptive Recreation Center plans are underway. The City of Miami Beach is working with the Sabrina Cohen Foundation to select a proper site to build the center.
Exercise is an activity many people enjoy to strengthen bodies and calm minds. It is especially beneficial for those living with catastrophic illness, injury and secondary health conditions related to long-term disabilities. In many communities, however, gyms and leisure centers are “no-go zones” for the disabled because these facilities often lack ramps, lifts and automatic doors, making them difficult to navigate. High membership fees, inaccessible locker rooms, no specialized equipment and inexperienced staff members are some of the common barriers that can prevent disabled people from participating.
- Approximately 56 million Americans today have a disability.
- The obesity rate for children with disabilities in the U.S. is 38% higher than for children without disabilities. The adult obesity rate is 57% higher than for adults without disabilities.
- Adults with disabilities are physically active on a regular basis about half as often as adults without disabilities (12% vs. 22%).
- Significant barriers exist in access to health care, with 29% of people with disabilities showing unmet needs compared to 12% for people without.
- By the year 2030, 71.5 million Baby Boomers will be over the age of 65 and demanding products, services, and environments that address their age-related physical changes.
When people with disabilities are creating their everyday to-do list, they often times prioritize a lot of things over fun and recreation. Leisure isn’t something that is put at the top of their list for reasons such as, limited transportation, recreational places aren’t accessible and people with disabilities don’t often think about recreation for themselves because society has “included them” by letting them watch, rather than finding a way for them to participate in activities.
Why Is Recreation Important?
❖ It provides an opportunity to develop new friendships.
❖ It helps someone feels part of the community.
❖ It allows people to have an active role in the community, to make friends, be empowered.
❖ It allows people to discover what kinds of activities they like and what they are good at.
❖ It is a great stress reducer and can even help to relieve symptoms of depression.
❖ It allows people an opportunity to laugh and feel joyful.
The development of an Adaptive Recreation Center will be a first of a kind oceanfront facility on the east coast catering exclusively to individuals living with disabilities. Visitors will indulge in a uniquely empowering experience, combining indoor and beachside physical fitness with recreational activities that promote mental and spiritual wellness. The center will feature a diverse menu of programs and amenities for members at a single convenient location, including:
- fitness classes
- workout stations (art therapy)
- adaptive yoga / meditation
- aqua therapy in the ocean
- It will also provide a home base for “adaptive beach days”
Sabrina Cohen Foundation
This project is a main initiative of the Sabrina Cohen Foundation (SCF), a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to funding adaptive fitness and recreational activities that will provide a better quality of life for those living with disabilities.
Since 2013, SCF has been working with the City of Miami Beach to develop this project. On July 23, 2014 the City Commission voted unanimously to approve SCF’s plan to create a fully accessible beach and adaptive playground for kids with special needs on Collins Avenue. To best compliment these outdoor activities, the development of an adaptive recreation center will provide a “go-to” destination offering beach access to participants, with full-time specialized staff, a dedicated place to store all personal belongings (wheelchairs), plus adaptive beach equipment, shelter from rainy days and an indoor first aid station.
SCF will play a leading role in the day-to-day management of the center and fundraising initiatives – partnering with veteran associations, various disability related organizations and the Christopher Reeve Foundation.