By Chris Hofstader – Updated 9.26.02
This page is dedicated to collecting a set of resources for people with disabilities who are interested in fishing. As it is very new, the list is now quite short. We plan on growing the list as quickly as possible. The State of Florida and the Tampa Bay area provide many terrific resources for people with disabilities. We hope that this page can serve as a single place where all of them can be found.
Links to Accessible Fishing Piers
This web page, run by Florida State Parks, contains all sorts of information about the parks and accessibility. Follow this link to the main Florida State Parks “Accessibility for All” web site and you will find a list of accessible fishing piers all around the state.
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge Fishing Pier
One of many web pages dedicated to the Skyway Fishing Pier, this one provides a lot of history and good information. Some of the information is pretty old as it still has an 813 area code for the bait house on the North pier. This page is very accessible to blind readers.
The Skyway Pier Home Page
This page would not pass the criteria for being fully accessible for a blind or low vision computer user. We are including it, however, because the Skyway Pier is a very accessible place to fish with many accommodations for people in wheelchairs. We have written to the web master offering to help them make their site more accessible for blind web surfers.
Parks and Other Resources
Parks facilities for the disabled visitor
This page, mostly accessible to the blind reader, contains a list of parks around Florida. It mentions a number of accessible fishing piers around the state.
Fishing Has No Boundaries
FHNB is a national organization with chapters all over the country. Their first Florida chapter is located in Daytona Beach and is still in the formation stage. They can use lots of help so check out their web site and get involved.
Follow Me Outdoors
This is another outdoor sports site for people with disabilities. It is primarily about hunting but it does contain enough fishing information to fit our site.
Water Works Wonders: Fishing
This page lists over 450,000 fishing locations in the U.S.
With many resources for anglers with disabilities. It is not a disability specific site but does describe the accessibility of many of the spots.
This is an outdoor sporting organization for everyone. They have a section on disabilities, which I found quite informative.
Disabled Outdoors Magazine
5223 South Lorel Ave.
Chicago, IL 60638
As this is a print only periodical without a web presence, I cannot speak to its quality or level of interest to our readers. I can say, however, that they are mentioned on a ton of disability related web sites, which leads me to believe that a lot of people must like them. You can find them by writing to the address above.
Captain Brad Smither
Captain Brad has shown great patience and done a lot to teach Chris Hofstader a lot about fishing in this area. His experience with one blind fishing novice is a skill he can now bring to others. Brad can be reached at: (727) 243-3844.
A competitor to Freedom Scientific, AI Squared makes a very popular piece of software called ZoomText. It is designed for low vision computer users, combines speech and magnification and many people with reduced vision use it to read Internet sites and do most other computing activities.
Help Us Grow This List
There are many resources to people with disabilities. This list is a small sampling but we had to start somewhere. If you have an idea for an addition, send us the contact information and we’ll get it added to the list. The resources do not need to have an Internet presence as we can list phone numbers, addresses and much more. The goal is to get as much information to the people who want or need it.