Damien Buchman's goal to give disabled people not only access but opportunity. Buchman himself suffered from childhood cancer and almost lost both legs. But he grew up to be an active, athletic adult and wanted to give others the opportunity as well.
Buchman has set his sights on making more of Milwaukee available to everyone, starting at Bradford Beach. He is the founder of The Ability Center and the organizer of RampUp Milwaukee.
RampUp Milwaukee is a crowdfunded plan to make recreational wheelchairs available to people who need them at Bradford Beach. And eventually, their goal is to build and install ramps that will take people all the way down to the water.
"There’s something interesting about accessibility. Sometimes we’ll go minimalist and as long as somebody can get there we feel like we’ve done enough. And that’s what I call access," Buchman says. "But that’s not opportunity. What happens when you get to the end of the ramp? Where do you go now? What do you do next?"
Milwaukee’s first accessible beach party happens this Saturday at Bradford Beach from 12 pm to 5 pm.