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Mats for the Beach? Accessible Pools? Thank Paralympian Parks Official

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Today's Times brought the news of new beachside mats the Parks Department installed in Brighton Beach, bringing the joys of sand and surf to the wheelchair-bound. But as it turns out, that's far from the only accessibility initiative Parks is set to unveil, and they're all largely thanks to Victor Calise, a 35-year-old Queens native who has used a wheelchair since he flew over his bike's handlebars — without a helmet, folks — in a 1994 accident and in October became the Parks Department's first accessibility coordinator.