Wheeling into workouts: Rec Center improving services for the disabled

By: Alison Stewart

The Student Recreation and Wellness Center has taken steps to improve its services for the fall semester.  The Office of Accessibility and the SRWS worked together to make the recreation center more handicap accessible.

“Many recreation facilities across the country have started to identify the need to provide accommodation to those who might have a disability,” said Benjamin Harman, manager of fitness and wellness at the recreation center. This includes a growing number of returning veterans who may not be able to utilize the equipment like they previously could.

“SRWS has taken an initiative to acquire ADA -compliant equipment that can be utilized by all members of the facility.  We are also working closely with the Office of Accessibility to ensure that proper accommodations are being made to provide the same quality services and programs to everyone who wants to participate,”said Harman.

Several pieces of ADA-compliant equipment have been available in the recreation center for over a year, including lifts in the pool areas, exercise equipment from the FreeMotion Selectorized line, multi-use cable columns and functional trainers from Cybex and Star Trac and ADA-compliant recumbent exercise bikes from SportsArt.

Several more pieces of exercise equipment have been purchased recently.  Several of these pieces have a feature that allows individuals in wheelchairs to move the seat in order to use the equipment in the same manner as a non-wheelchair individual.  The Cybex treadmill has an easier entry step for those with disabilities.

Harman continued to say that “All of these pieces have more user-friendly visual markings, larger font instructions and are designed specifically to meet the needs of this population.”