AIMFREE:  Accessibility Instrument Measuring Fitness and Recreation Environments

AIMFREE: Accessibility Instrument Measuring Fitness and Recreation Environments


Hi I’m Carolyn Lullo and I work here at
Rectech. Today we are going to evaluate the accessibility of a fitness facility using
the AIMFREE instrument. The AIMFREE instrument was developed by RecTech and funded by NIDRR.
It contains about 400 questions and 15 different sections. There is a paper and an online version
of the instrument and the online version gives you immediate solutions for the barriers found
in the facility. Today, we are going to complete assessment using the online version on a smart
phone. Let’s get started. Entrance doors should be able to be opened through the use
of a sensor or an electronic device. This one here opens through the use of a push button.
One of the things we want to look at in regards to the curb cut is the slope. We want to make
sure the slope is not greater than 8.33% I can use my cell phone there’s an app to
measure the slope. I can see that it’s good. Now we are going to evaluate the equipment
section. To ensure access to the equipment it’s really important that there is a 3
foot clear width between the rows. Let’s check and see if that’s the case. Exercise
equipment should have alternative formats on the control panel. Things to look for are
Braille, raised lettering, pictograms, large letters, and audio. You can see that this
one here just has the audio feature. Another thing to check is if the equipment that has
seats have back support. This one here you can see that it does have back support and
this one does not. For equipment that has handles, it’s important that they can be
moved out of the way so individuals can transfer on. You can see that this one can move forward
and this one lifts up. We also want to check to see if the seats can swivel. This one here
we can see that this seat swivels so somebody can more easily transfer onto the equipment.
It’s important to be able to reach the handles from seated position. We can see here that
I can’t reach those handles. If the fitness center has televisions or multimedia devices
it’s really important that they have closed captioning on them. Weight stacks on the strength
equipment should have 2-5 pound increments. This one has here has 20 pound increments.
We are now going to assess the pool section of the instrument. One of the features to
look at is if there is a clear width of 3 feet all the way around the pool. You can
see in this corner that the clear width is not 3 feet. It’s critical that there be
an accessible way of entering the water. You can see here that there doesn’t appear to
be any accessible way of getting into this pool such as stairs with handrails, a pool
lift, a ramp or a transfer wall. We actually see in this corner there is a pool lift but
it is not put together and therefore unusable by patrons. We want to check throughout the
facility to see if the flooring is slip resistant. This flooring here feels a little bit slippery.
When we are in the entrance area we want to check and make sure that the counter height
at the reception counter is not too high. It should be about 36 inches. This one’s
a bit taller than that. When there are carpets and pads throughout the facility, we want
to make sure that those are fastened to the floor. We can see here that these aren’t.
Now that we’ve completed the assessment, let’s see some of the solutions that are
provided by the online version of the AIMFREE instrument for the access issues that we’ve
observed today. Once you complete the assessment you’ll be provided with solutions to all
of the access issues that were found. The solutions provides you with a detailed explanation
of the problem, images that show examples of the problem, as well as examples of the
solutions, ways to remove the barrier, and references to the related ADA accessibility
guidelines one applicable. You are now seeing the solutions report for the clear width barrier
we found on the equipment section of the assessment. Now that we’ve completed the demonstration
today, we hope that you have a better understanding of the AIMFREE instrument and how it can be
used to create barrier free fitness environments for people with disabilities. Thank you for
joining us today.

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