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disability
fi tness
BUYING INTO
INCLUSION
Chris Easton reports
on the progress
made to date by
the UK health and
fitness industry
towards achieving
IFI standards
en years ago, using a must be aware of the needs of disabled The spice of life Variety is becoming
fitness suite presented at people when making purchases of increasingly important in the types of
T
best a challenge and at products that will inevitably be in situ equipment offered to disabled members
worst an impossible task for a considerable length of time.
for many disabled people. Equipment standards developed by purchasers and users to determine
The situation today the Inclusive Fitness Initiative (IFI) have whether equipment is designed inclusively.
represents a significant change. Largely underpinned the progress made in this There is no doubt that the IFI’s
thanks to equipment manufacturers that area, ensuring that leisure operators now Provisional Level package – the minimum
have adopted new technologies and have a choice of high quality providers amount of inclusive equipment required
innovative product developments to take and inclusive fi tness equipment. Not only to allow the vast majority of disabled
into account the needs of disabled users, that but, given the fact that inclusive users to access a cardiovascular and
expectations of these users have now fi tness equipment is rarely different resistance-based workout (see table p44)
risen above being offered a ‘minimum’ in terms of overall functionality, cost – can ultimately satisfy disabled users’
service to one that’s on a par with their or aesthetics, there seems to be little physiological training needs. However,
non-disabled counterparts. rational argument for not making disabled people will increasingly demand
The Disability Discrimination Act sensible, inclusive procurement decisions. greater choice, variety and fl exibility in
(DDA) relies heavily on ‘reasonableness’, their workout. More than ever, they are
but it’s sensible to assume that what OFFERING CHOICE aware of the availability of inclusive
is reasonable varies subject to what’s IFI Accreditation – currently based on the fi tness equipment, which is in turn raising
available at the time. This is no different IFI Equipment Standards Stage 2 – is the their expectations. Today’s users realise
with fi tness equipment, and operators only formal frame of reference for that it’s possible to get a full body
42 Read Health Club Management online june 2009 © cybertrek 2009
healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital
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