Inclusive & Accessible FitnessIndividuals are More Likely to Exercise When Programs andServices Meet the Needs of EveryoneOverview: Is your health and fitness center both Inclusive Fitness. There are no regulations regardinginclusive and accessible? The goal is to be both—the inclusive fitness. How can your facility be both accessibleterms are not mutually exclusive. and inclusive creating a welcoming environment forAccessibility. Regulations regarding accessibility are in everyone? How can facility managers position their businessplace. The U.S. Department of Justice adopted the revised to meet the March 2012 mandate? In this overview we willAmericans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, which examine the areas required to create a more inclusive andinclude the ADA 2010 Standards for Accessible Design. accessible facility; the challenges; important tips for success;The Standards include sections covering recreation educational opportunities; and, the benefits of developing anfacilities, play areas, and government facilities. The inclusive environment.significance of this adoption ensures that fitness facilitiesare legally obligated to adhere to accessible designstandards. On March 15, 2012, all new construction,renovations, and alterations must meet 2010 Standards. Cary Wing, EdD – email@example.com June 2011 Medical Fitness Consultant and Expert for Fitmarc 1
The OpportunityOver 50 Million People Have Some Type of DisabilityOpportunity: It is estimated that 50 million people in this Inclusive fitness is an untapped market. Benchmarks docountry have some type of disability and they need health exist, however. There are established fitness facilityand fitness services. This significant portion of the programs that provide a seamless environment for allpopulation faces some of the greatest health risks members regardless of ability or physical challenges. FIT,associated with sedentary lifestyles. This population in Los Altos, CA, leads the way and is host to FITBuddies.includes the young, adults, and seniors with physical, This successful group-training program for individuals withcognitive and/or sensory challenges—a wide range of intellectual disabilities improves the health and wellness ofindividuals who must incorporate physical activity into their this population by providing professional instruction in adaily lives. Several years ago The Inclusive Fitness fun and safe environment. The facility is both inclusiveCoalition (IFC) developed out of the need to address these and accessible.health issues. The organization has created a unified effortto increase access to, and participation in, physical activityand exercise. Cary Wing, EdD – firstname.lastname@example.org June 2011 Medical Fitness Consultant and Expert for Fitmarc 2
The Challenges Being Inclusive and Accessible, Creating a Welcoming Facility, Goes Beyond Providing a Curb CutThe Challenges: A thorough review of your facility may reveal As previously stated, however, a facility with accessibleareas that need upgrading to meet the 2012 mandate. The equipment and amenities may not be inclusive. ManyHealth and Fitness Clubs Workgroup (IFC) has compiled individuals with disabilities indicate they feel excludededucational materials that can be used to identify barriers and primarily due to physical and attitudinal barriers; stigmaincrease inclusion at fitness centers. Here are some questions and stereotypes; and, a chronic lack of opportunity. Ato ask when creating a more accessible facility: separate physical activity class for facility members • Do you have countertops at various heights? who use wheelchairs does not promote an inclusive • Are the doors in the facility too heavy? environment. How welcoming is your facility? • Is your fitness equipment accessible? • Is there a shower chair or roll-in shower available for individuals with wheelchairs? • Are 5% of available lockers accessible to individuals with disabilities? Cary Wing, EdD – email@example.com June 2011 Medical Fitness Consultant and Expert for Fitmarc 3
Important Tips A Fitness Facility Should Seek to Develop an Inclusive and Accessible EnvironmentThe Tools: The mission of the Health and Fitness Club Enlisting the aid of a company knowledgeable in theWorkgroup is to motivate managers and staff of fitness mission and goals of inclusive and accessible fitnessfacilities to develop an environment that is inclusive, can save valuable time. A company that understandsproviding accessibility to all. This may involve, but is the impact of the 2010 ADA Guidelines for Accessiblenot limited to, changes to equipment, facilities, Design--and the importance of inclusive fitness--canprograms, practices, staff training, and marketing. provide resources, marketing materials, consultingAvailable tools and resources include: support and solutions for successful adherence.• Making Your Health & Fitness Center a WelcomingFacility (IFC Factsheet)• ACSM/NCPAD Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainerprogram• Before & After Fitness Center Makeover (NCPAD) Cary Wing, EdD – firstname.lastname@example.org June 2011 Medical Fitness Consultant and Expert for Fitmarc 4
ConclusionAn Inclusive and Accessible Fitness Facility Is anOpportunity to Expand Your Facility and Your BusinessRecap: Fifty million people in this country have some type of Create awareness and reach out to this untapped market.disability and they need health and fitness services. This is a The Medical Fitness Circle of Health includes everyone.unique opportunity for the industry. As professionals andleaders you can provide an accessible and inclusive fitnessfacility, expand program offerings, and impact the daily livesof millions of people. FITBuddies is an example of a fitnessfacility identifying an opportunity; being confident in strayingfrom the norm; and, taking the necessary steps to implementa program. Their facility is inclusive and accessible. Can yourfacility do the same? Visit FITBuddies to learn more:http://buddiesinaction.wordpress.com/about/ Cary Wing, EdD – email@example.com June 2011 Medical Fitness Consultant and Expert for Fitmarc 5
About UsLooking to improve operating results at your fitness facility?We can help.About Us: Fitmarc serves hundred of fitness facilities I am here to be your resource and help you achieve greaterand thousands of fitness professionals through the success. As the Director of Business Development fordelivery of programs, solutions, consulting services Medical Fitness for Fitmarc, I have years of experience working in the medical fitness industry, developing theand education. Our team of experts can deliver real medical fitness model, and uniting fitness and healthcare.world answers to your facility’s biggest challenges. Let’s connect so that I can be a resource and partner for you and your organization.To Learn More:Visit our website at www.fitmarc.com Follow me on Twitter @caryhwingFollow Fitmarc on Twitter or www.carywing.comLike Fitmarc on FacebookCall Fitmarc at 800-814-1207 Cary Wing, EdD – firstname.lastname@example.org June 2011 Medical Fitness Consultant and Expert for Fitmarc 6
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