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It's November and we have a lot to be thankful for!

As the year winds down and we reflect on the events and accomplishments of 2019, we realize there is a lot to be thankful for. The Access Trax team is thankful for the opportunities to serve our community, share our story, participate in rad events, and connect with our customers, friends, partners, and supporters. Without you, we simply wouldn't be here! We hope you and your family have much to be thankful for, too. Happy Thanksgiving from us at Access Trax!

Access Trax Featured on Fox 5 San Diego News

Watch CEO Kelly Twichel and adaptive athlete Albert Pruitt share why the Beach Trax pathway makes such a positive impact for outdoor access in the Fox 5 News segment, "Made in San Diego."

Access Trax Wins Business Pitch Competition

Kelly and the 3 competition judges pose with the jumbo check.
On October 9th, community members and the press gathered to watch 9 businesses pitch as part of the graduation celebration for the inaugural cohort of the Connect All at the Jacobs Center accelerator program. The city-backed accelerator is the first of its kind in San Diego to focus on diverse and low-to-moderate income founders and offers services without requiring an equity stake. The 6 month program offers co-working space, business workshops, mentorship, and more. To learn more about the program which just accepted its second cohort, visit their website here.

Among the businesses pitching as part of the graduation were PromoDrone, Access Trax, Mapigator, Shukor Bella, SmartGuider, Standard Spoon, the Dojo Café, Hyp3r, and Surf Durt. Sponsored by Union Bank, the prize of the contest was a generous $10,000 to help the winner scale their company. The competition was close, but Access Trax was ultimately decided the winner, due in part because of the ability to create local jobs. CEO Kelly Twichel recalls the wave of emotion as the Regional President of Union Bank, Isai Amaya, announced Access Trax. "I was so proud and grateful. It represented a milestone in all of the hard work and passion I've poured into this company over the past 3 years. Connect All at the Jacobs Center was an incredible opportunity and this win was the cherry on top. I'm excited to keep moving forward."

With the funds, Kelly plans to take Access Trax to 2 key tradeshows next year to reach ADA Coordinators and Parks and Recreation. This will be important for increasing outdoor accessibility at the community level. Access Trax is also preparing to hire its first part-time employees and complete prototyping of a new pathway model geared towards city use. The win has also attracted a new wave of positive media exposure. The San Diego Union Tribune published an
article about Access Trax and the win, and Kelly was invited on Fox 5 San Diego News for an interview (video above). This momentum will help as Kelly pitches to the City of San Diego for a real solution to the beach access issue at Dog Beach in Ocean Beach.
Group photo taken from above of the diverse entrepreneurs and a few community members.
Kelly and Julian take a photo with the mayor and 4 others during the celebration.

Beach Trax Invention 3 Year Anniversary

It was a sunny day in the beginning of October in 2016 when Beach Trax made its debut at a Western Surfing Association competition in Ocean Beach, California. Occupational Therapy students and co-inventors Eric Packard and Kelly Twichel brought their hand-made prototype- which consisted of aluminum rain-gutter covers zip-tied to plastic chicken mesh- to create a track for wheelchair wheels to lift off the sand. Five adaptive surfers tested out the model that day, proving the concept and the ability to improve access and independence. "We had to move 20 feet of Trax well over 100 feet of sand that day" remembers Kelly. "We were thankful the surfers were willing to try out our humble prototype and were inspired and motivated by the results. That's when we knew this had to go to market."

Fast forward 3 years, and Access Trax is now partnered with the Western Surfing Association, providing Beach Trax to their competitions to ensure the access adaptive surfers need. This year at the Avalanche Beach competition, Kelly volunteered and set up the pathway from the parking lot all the way to the competition zone. "It was the perfect highway to allow everyone to walk directly to the check-in tent. Everyone uses it- not just people with mobility devices."

Over the past few years, the Beach Trax pathway has undergone major improvements and various versions. Shared below are some images showcasing the progress from concept to what you see today. Some improvements include switching from an"H" shape panel to the universally designed flat square, decreasing the radius of the corners, moving from black to grey plastic, and updating the hinges to a high-visibility orange color, with other custom colors available. With valuable feedback from our users, Access Trax aims to keep improving well into the future!
Eric Packard and adaptive surfer Christiaan Bailey talk about the chicken mesh & wire pathway stretching down the beach.
Eric and Kelly pose with adaptive surfer Bruno Hansen while using the black plastic "H" shape Beach Trax panels on the sand.
Adaptive surfer Bruno Hansen looks at the waves while using the black Beach Trax pathway at the beach with his surf board next to him.
Kelly and National Park Accessibility Coordinator Richard stand next to adaptive athlete Aleco on the grey Beach Trax pathway at the beach overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.

Access Trax Featured in Home Health OT Podcast

Access Trax CEO Kelly Twichel was interviewed for the Home Health Occupational Therapy Explorer Podcast hosted by fellow OT Monika Lukasiewicz. In the interview, Kelly shares what the pathway is used for and how it empowers people to get out and access life outdoors. Kelly also shares tips for OT students as they go through school.
Listen Here

Top 5 Reasons to Make Your Event Accessible

  1. Accessible events attract more guests and their families and friends which can lead to higher revenue
  2. You will have a more diverse audience which benefits you, other guests, and the community
  3. Your company and event will be more respected and be seen as well executed
  4. You are providing a unique experience that sets you apart
  5. Providing an accessible public event is good practice and required by ADA law

Vote to Help Access Trax Win Women's Entrepreneurship Grant for $25,000

To help us win the Amber Grant, click the link below and scroll down to find Kelly Twichel - Access Trax. Simply click the white arrow to vote! Voting closes November 30th and the winner will be announced mid-December. Thank you for your support!
Vote Now

Access Trax Advocating for Beach Pathway in Ocean Beach

On Wednesday November 6th, CEO Kelly Twichel presented to the Ocean Beach Planning Board to propose installation of an ADA-compliant accessible beach pathway on either side of the jetty at Dog Beach. This will provide community members and tourists who use mobility devices a safe, stable path towards the water to participate in beach and water recreation for full inclusion. They pathway will also make it easier for families with baby strollers and beach carts to cross the sand. Accessibility increases community engagement and attract more events to an area.

ADA accessibility has become a hot topic for Dog Beach after a man sued the City over ADA complaints and was awarded a $50,000 settlement. Since then, the City has proposed a $1.1 million dollar renovation to fix the cement ramp at the beach leading to 3 benches hundreds of feet from the water. While the existing ramp requires certain renovations to improve ADA compliance and safety, the OB Planning Board opposes the exorbitant cost of the proposal which includes hundreds of thousands of dollars in soft cost. The Board was open to hearing the Access Trax solution to true accessibility at the beach. To find out more info, check out this NBC 7 News segment about the issue.

Testimonial Spotlight

"Beach Trax made my husband's days at the beach better than we could have ever imagined! A 190 lb man in a 380 lb chair- we thought getting in the sand could never happen. The best investment in ensuring beach accessibility with family and friends! I am a 125 lb woman who could set down and take up 60 Trax by myself without any problem. Beach Trax changed our lives!" - Susan from Carlsbad, California

We are thrilled that Beach Trax made such a positive impact on your lives, Susan!

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