22 May 2008
Awesome Accessibility at My Gym
I just joined a new gym, LA Fitness. Last night, I visited a new branch of it in a different part of town. I was very impressed with what they had done to make the place accessible to people with mobility impairments. To enter the gym, you have to go to the second floor of a shopping center. There is a really long and goofy-looking staircase to the entrance for this purpose. There is also an elevator in the front that goes straight to the front desk of the gym. Cool.
Once inside, weights are on the main floor, and cardio machines are upstairs. There is a staircase to the cardio machines, but no elevator. I wandered around up there, but all the bikes were occupied. I noticed downstairs, tucked into the hallway beside the squash courts, there were some cardio machines. There were two bikes, 3 stairclimbers, 4 treadmills, and 6 elliptical machines. I didn't know why they were there, but both bikes were free so I hopped on.
While I was working out, I glanced around and noticed the ramp connecting this area to the rest of the gym. Then I spotted that the treadmill next to me had the "blue guy in a wheelchair" sticker on it that said "This piece of equipment is reserved for people with disabilities" or something similar. I was quite impressed. A lot of places wouldn't consider creating disabled access to treadmills and bikes. But there are lots of people who might use a wheelchair AND want to use the cardio machines. Well thought out and well executed. Yay for you, LA Fitness.
As far as complete physical accessibility, I couldn't say for sure. The gym and the locker room are VERY spacious, and there are low lockers. I am not knowledgeable about wheelchair-accessible weight machines so I couldn't tell you.
In other news, I think this is hilarious.
Image: Line drawing of a person in a wheelchair triumphantly raising a carrot and a head of lettuce over their head. A dog sits next to him and the caption reads "Another satisfied customer."