There is a considerably large number of people living with disabilities in the United States, with the number going as high as 50 million. Therefore, there should be measures put in place to ensure that such people are not discriminated against, giving them equal opportunities with persons who are not disabled. Such opportunities include enjoying amenities just like everyone else, and swimming pools are not an exception. Even though you might not end up in a serious legal issue for not having an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant pool (if it’s private), you should consider building one just to ensure that anyone with limited mobility gets their chance to have some fun.
Three Ways to Make Your Backyard Pool Handicap Accessible
The best thing about making your pool handicap accessible is that you can do it on a new or old pool. New pools are easier to work on as all you will need is a good plan, with detailed blueprints. Extant pools, however, are not always that easy to work depending on their design and the amount of space available for completion of such a project. Whatever the case it’s always worthwhile to make your pool ADA compliant, even if it means investing a lot of money and time into the project. Read on to discover some of the ways with which you can make your pool handicap accessible:
This one falls under the secondary types of access to a swimming pool, and it’s meant to provide support and balance to someone entering the pool from a standing position. The most important thing that you should consider about pool stairs is the handrails which accompany them, as they have to follow specific measurements which are usually regulated by the ADAAG. In addition, the riser heights and tread widths have to be uniform in size, with the tread widths not being less than 11 inches. This is one of the easiest ways to get disabled people in a standing position in and out of the pool.
Portable access ladders
You can as well use portable access ladders which are usually placed at any position along the edges of the pool to ease entry and exit from the pool. These ladders also have side deck adapters and side skirting which goes a long way to prevent underwater entrapment. Most of them also come with a dolly to enhance mobility, so you won’t have to worry about getting the ladder from the pool area to wherever you will be storing it.
The major concern you might have about disabled someone is their safe entry and exit from the pool, in which case having a lift is one of the best options available. The best thing about lifts is that there are many designs you could pick from to ensure depending on how you want your pool to look like. Such devices can be operated manually, as well as automatically, but that comes with a difference in the price involved. The working process is the same for all lifts, and it involves lifting a person and lowering them into the water while getting them out of the pool requires only reversal of the process. For the seat options to choose from, there is a chair seat or canvas sling seat, depending on what seems more convenient. The individual will then take a sit in the seat which will be over the deck, then the arm of the lift will swing out over the pool, and the chair will slowly go into the water where the individual will then exit. The process is then reversed to remove the chair from the pool so that someone else can use it.
This is another simple way to get someone with mobility issues into the pool. It’s basically a ramp that has handrails and goes into the pool to allow someone to walk down the ramp safely or even roll a wheelchair into the pool. For such a process, you will have to use an aquatic wheelchair since power wheelchairs or even regular ones can contaminate the pool. There are multipurpose disability access ramps which can also be removed from the water to allow for cleaning or even covering the swimming pool.
This is one of the most efficient secondary means that allow ease of access into a pool. They make it possible for someone with mobility issues to get onto the top of a swimming pool wall from a wheelchair so they can easily get into the water. For this method, at least one grab bar is required to lengthen the pool wall top’s width. This is one of the most commonly used methods in hot tubs.
Benefits of making your pool handicap accessible
Making your swimming pool easy to access for people with limited mobility is not a tough thing to do while using the above-discussed techniques. Besides, it goes a long way in showing that you care for the people around you who are a little disadvantaged with their mobility. Some benefits should motivate you to make your swimming pool handicap accessible:
- Increase the value of your home – The best thing about making your pool handicap accessible is that it makes the value of your home go up, considering that there may be customers who would wish to utilize such services. Given that they won’t have to make further adjustments to the pool, they should be willing to dig deeper into their pockets since the pool has already been made to fit them.
- Accommodating mobility-limited guests – Another major advantage of making your swimming pool easy to access by people who have mobility issues is that you can accommodate guests with such issues without worrying that they can’t enjoy taking a swim in your pool. To someone with mobility issues, having the privilege to be in such a pool goes a long way to show that you care for them.
Building a handicap accessible swimming pool is never a waste of resources, and the best thing is that there are several ways to achieve that as discussed above. Just be sure to do a little more research so you can get the best professionals who can advise and do an excellent job for you.