Making Pools More Accessible

Swimming and aquatic exercise offer an ideal workout, eliminating the strain of many out-of-the-water workouts. That's why many experts recommend swimming for the disabled, the elderly and for those recovering from injuries or surgery. Some facilities even offer specially targeted aquatic therapy classes specifically for these guests.

But for many patrons, the traditional ladder or steps used to get in and out of the pool are not an option. Even if you don't offer programs targeted specifically to their needs, your facility will can benefit by adding accessibility options.

Q: How can I improve accessibility?

A: You'll find a full line of pool lifts available throughout the industry that will enable patrons of every ability to get into and out of the water with ease and dignity.

However, if you also offer programming and swim times for day camps, swim meets and adult lap-swimming, you don't want your pool lift to block an entire lane or become an obstacle. That's where a portable pool lift comes in.

With a portable lift, you can easily roll the lift into place when it's needed, and just as simply move it out of the way when it's not needed. Simply roll the lift into place along the edge of the pool and lock the wheels before use.

This option is also perfect for facilities that have multiple bodies of water and want to be able to allow access at various points. Rather than providing access to a single pool through a stationary lift, you'll be able to give patrons access to any of the appropriate bodies of water.

Q: Will a portable lift comply with ADA guidelines for pool lifts?

A: Definitely. Just check with your manufacturer to find out how your portable lift meets the requirements. Guidelines within the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) set specific water depth requirements, clear deck space requirements and requirements for seat height and width, footrests, lifting capacity and so forth.

For example, seats must be at least 16 inches wide. Some portable lifts offer seats as wide as 18.5 inches, exceeding the requirement.

Lifts also must be capable of unassisted operation, and a person must be able to call the lift when it is in either the deck or water position. Portable lifts with a waterproof remote control will offer this flexibility to your patrons.

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