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For July 2013:

How to make recreational centers more accessible

Many may think that this is probably going to be a very daunting task but let us take stock and see what we would need to do in order to make a recreational center as accessible as can be. There are probably two major things that we would need to start with and these are: Physical access to the equipment itself, and being able to use the equipment with as little sighted assistance as possible.

The name of the game is to make your physical center accessible and available to those who are unable to see or those who are blind. Your center should be laid out in such a manner that a blind person would need to call on assistance from those around them for the most part. So with this in mind, here are a few pointers to start with.

  1. Make it easy for your equipment to be easy to get to. That is, and if you can, make sure that there is enough room and space between each piece of equipment.
  2. Label the buttons of your equipment with dots or something that is raised so that a blind person would be able to identify such buttons as: On/off, increase and decrease in rate, increase in speed, increase and decrease in incline, and so on.

Of course, it will always help to train your staff to interact with someone who does not have sight and yes! Always a great idea to give them an orientation to the center when they first come in and maybe a few more of these afterwards.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your freelance writer and roving reporter wishing you a terrific day.

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