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

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.