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WATER WELLNESS: DISABILITY ACCESS


Allowing Access For All


Easy access to facilities is a legal requirement for swimming pools and leisure centres across the country and commercial operators need to ensure that people with a disability have the same opportunities to use swimming pool facilities as their able-bodied counterparts. This issue, we take a closer look at the products, technologies and systems that are delivering access for all in commercial and increasingly domestic environments By Andrea Hartshorne


D


evelopments and advances in design and technology mean that pool lifts and access systems for swimming pools and spas are


constantly changing with improvements to the units themselves and their accessories. New materials and technologies allow developers to improve and provide equipment for the ever-changing market of access. Whether the amendments are needed to accommodate increases in clients’ weight or advances in medical procedures, there are companies dedicated to improving the lives of everyone who wishes to swim or enjoy an invigorating dip in a spa.


POOLPOD NOW AVAILABLE FROM F T LEISURE


Swimming pool specialist, F T Leisure has become an official distributor for Poolpod – a new form of disabled access for swimming pools.


Poolpod is an extremely cost-effective swimming pool lift which enables dignified, independent access for any swimmer who finds using current pool access difficult or inappropriate. It will revolutionise the swimming experience for wheelchair users


80 February 2015 SPN


and people with mobility impairments. The Equality Act (previously the Disability Discrimination Act or DDA) requires that all service providers make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to ensure that people with a disability have the same access as their able-bodied counterparts. In the case of access to swimming pools, this was typically achieved using a pool surround mounted hoisting mechanism to lower the bather into the water. Feedback from disabled swimmers suggests that this is quite an undignified means of access which can draw unwanted attention from other pool users.


Poolpod allows disabled people to enter the pool quickly and easily without having to make a transfer from a wheelchair at the poolside. Its clever design means the pool lift is quick, yet smooth and comfortable and doesn’t require involvement from the pool attendant. Bespoke pool lift chairs allow users to transfer within the privacy of the changing facility and use Poolpod for getting into and out of the swimming pool. The pool lift is independently operated by Poolpod proximity wristbands and with a maximum working load of 250kg allowing for multi- occupant lifting, it is perfect for disability classes and swimmers who need extra support.


Now available through F T Leisure, the Poolpod is an extremely cost-effective swimming pool lift which enables dignified, independent access


The system controls do not discriminate against persons with left or right side injuries or users with visual impairment or motor control problems. Poolpod can be retrofitted in a matter of hours and, being mobile, can easily be moved between locations on the poolside or removed altogether for competitions or swimming events. Swimming is the UK’s second most popular keep-fit activity and


www.swimmingpoolnews.co.uk


Made in the USA,


LifeGuard Lift’s make transfers and swimming activities easier and safer


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