Firstly, a parking area near the facility and reserved for the handicapped would be ideal. Many of your gyms are located inside malls making it very hard to access from the parking lot. A parking area nearest to the gym would therefore be advisable. Secondly, the locker, fitting and dressing rooms you provide must be compliant with all the ADAAG (Americans with Disabilities Act Guidelines) provisions and is easily accessible, not only by the general clientele, but even the handicapped. Should you have a cluster of lockers, 5% of it should be accessible to the disabled.
No less than one of each type of locker should be provided the handicapped, whether a full, quarter or half-sized locker. The drawing below would give you an idea of how it should look like. The route going to these rooms should be easily accessible through the door, as well as all the other elements in the room. The lockers’ operating mechanism should also be compliant with the ADA guidelines, both in terms of height and operation. Benches should also be positioned adjacent to the lockers which are accessible to the disabled.
Benches should also be placed in fitting and dressing rooms aside from the locker rooms. Steam rooms and saunas and other facilities that would require sitting should have benches to accommodate the handicapped. A clear floor space should be positioned to allow them mobility along with the wheelchair that most of them might be using. Removable seats may be utilized in saunas in order as not to obstruct these wheelchairs. The following figure would help give you an idea. The cost of these facilties is minimal given the fact that you have them already and would just need some adjustments.
For a better understanding and for more details on the other equipment you can install, you can simply access the ADA guidelines. Thank you for your time and I look forward to seeing your gym accommodating more disabled people to help them with their fitness needs. Very truly yours
U. S. Department of Justice. Information on enforcement of the ADA and how to file a Complaint under the ADA. www. usdoj. gov/crt/ada/adahom1. htm Accessed 22 August 2010.