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senate Bill S. 1244

Should Fitness Facilities Be Accessible for Disabled Persons?

Argument in favor

Disabled individuals should have the same access to fitness facilities as able-bodied persons. Providing federal funding to help fitness facilities ensure compliance with an existing Dept. of Justice (DOJ) rule on disabled accessibility would benefit disabled persons’ fitness and health.

SneakyPete's Opinion
···
05/31/2019
👍🏻👍🏻Senate Bill S. 1244 AKA the “Exercise and Fitness for All Act.”👍🏻👍🏻 I’m in full support of and recommend the passage of the Senate Bill S. 1244 AKA the “Exercise and Fitness for All Act” which would establish new federal guidelines to help ensure people with disabilities have the same opportunity to use fitness facilities as their able-bodied peers and allow small businesses to use the Disabled Access Tax Credit to help cover the purchase of accessible exercise equipment. Disabled individuals should have the same access to fitness facilities as able-bodied persons. Providing federal funding to help fitness facilities ensure compliance with an existing Dept. of Justice (DOJ) rule on disabled accessibility would benefit disabled persons’ fitness and health. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻S.1244👍🏻👍🏻. 5*31*19.....
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Rochelle's Opinion
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05/31/2019
Fitness shouldn’t be limited to the fully able.
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Kodiwodi's Opinion
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06/01/2019
Of all the people who need to remain conditioned and fit it’s the disabled. My father was an incomplete C3 spinal fracture. They told him he would never walk. In fact he was a quad. He wouldn’t accept that. If it wasn’t for daily exercise long after the PT and OT quit, he would have remained a quad. Instead, he walked. Slowly and with a cane but he walked. Everywhere needs to accommodate the disabled. BTW, Dad was a staunch Republican.
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Argument opposed

The DOJ already has a rule requiring fitness facilities to be accessible to persons with disabilities. The DOJ should simply enforce this rule to ensure that fitness facilities (which are usually privately-owned) use their own funds to upgrade to be disabled-accessible.

Christian's Opinion
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06/01/2019
I'm disabled and I don't see how this is something we need Congress to vote on. Disabled people already have access to fitness facilities. In my case, since I don't have access to physical therapy, this does me no good. I'm bed bound/housebound. If you really want to help disabled people, allow for therapists to come to people's homes and cover it with Medicaid/Medicare. Even though I don't get either one of those things either, it would help others. This is a "feel good" vote. It won't do crap but, it will make me feel good to say I voted to help disabled people. If able bodied people can't make it to the gym, what the hell makes you think disabled people are just itching to go?
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Doug's Opinion
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05/31/2019
If there was enough people with disabilities who wanted accessible fitness centers, then the free market would fill the need. Tax credits and laws that impose requirements on private businesses shouldn’t even be on the table.
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jimK's Opinion
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06/01/2019
I really need a “it depends” button here. Wheel care accessible, sure. Access to equipment that is generally available and useable without modification, or could be readily modified with blocks, extra links, or even user supplied “adapters”, sure. Access to equipment that can be adapted for use with ‘common’ disabilities (‘common’, tbd), possibly. Access to equipment for any disability, NO. This is way too open ended. It would expose businesses to unlimited legal risks and put them all out of business- thus assuring NO ONE would have access to these facilities. There are a lot of “where-as” and “what-for” details that need to be clearly defined before I can jump on-board with this bill.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Finance
    IntroducedApril 30th, 2019

What is Senate Bill S. 1244?

This bill – the Exercise and Fitness for All Act — would establish new federal guidelines to help ensure people with disabilities have the same opportunity to use fitness facilities as their able-bodied peers and allow small businesses to use the Disabled Access Tax Credit to help cover the purchase of accessible exercise equipment.

The U.S. Access Board, a federal agency that promotes accessibility, would also be required to issue updated guidelines specifying the numbers of and types of accessible equipment facilities should have.

Impact

Disabled persons; disabled persons seeking to exercise in fitness facilities; fitness facilities; fitness facilities’ accessibility for handicapped persons; Disabled Access Tax Credit; and the U.S. Access Board.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 1244

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to establish new federal guidelines to help ensure people with disabilities have the same opportunity to use fitness facilities as their able-bodied peers and allow small businesses to use the Disabled Access Tax Credit to help cover the purchase of accessible exercise equipment:

“No one should be the denied the ability to lead a healthy lifestyle because they have a disability, but many exercise gyms and fitness facilities across our country are not accessible for people with disabilities and do not comply with federal rules. I know how frustrating this problem is. This legislation will help lower the barriers that prevent many Americans from accessing gyms across our country.”

Original cosponsor Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) adds:

“Everyone deserves the opportunity for a healthy life. People with disabilities are more at risk for cardiac and respiratory disease and for developing diabetes. This bill increases the likelihood that a person with a disability will have access to accessible equipment and to a professional who can support their efforts to be fit and prevent diseases.”

This bill has two Democratic cosponsors in the 116th Congress. In the 115th Congress, it had one cosponsor, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) (who’s also an original cosponsor in the current Congress) and didn’t receive a committee vote.

This bill has the support of Mobility Fitness and the American Association of Adapted Sports Programs.


Of NoteThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that adults living with a disability experience far higher rates of obesity and chronic disease than those without a disability. Furthermore, the CDC reports that many fitness facilities’ inaccessibility creates a barrier for those with a disability to exercise, due to lack of accessible space and equipment.

The Dept. of Justice’s (DOJ) current rules already require fitness facilities to meet accessible design standards, such as providing sufficient space next to each type of exercise equipment so that a person in a wheelchair can use it. However, many fitness facilities do not currently meet these standards.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / SeventyFour)

AKA

Exercise and Fitness for All Act

Official Title

A bill to promote the provision of exercise or fitness equipment, and exercise or fitness classes and instruction, that are accessible to individuals with disabilities.

    👍🏻👍🏻Senate Bill S. 1244 AKA the “Exercise and Fitness for All Act.”👍🏻👍🏻 I’m in full support of and recommend the passage of the Senate Bill S. 1244 AKA the “Exercise and Fitness for All Act” which would establish new federal guidelines to help ensure people with disabilities have the same opportunity to use fitness facilities as their able-bodied peers and allow small businesses to use the Disabled Access Tax Credit to help cover the purchase of accessible exercise equipment. Disabled individuals should have the same access to fitness facilities as able-bodied persons. Providing federal funding to help fitness facilities ensure compliance with an existing Dept. of Justice (DOJ) rule on disabled accessibility would benefit disabled persons’ fitness and health. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻S.1244👍🏻👍🏻. 5*31*19.....
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    I'm disabled and I don't see how this is something we need Congress to vote on. Disabled people already have access to fitness facilities. In my case, since I don't have access to physical therapy, this does me no good. I'm bed bound/housebound. If you really want to help disabled people, allow for therapists to come to people's homes and cover it with Medicaid/Medicare. Even though I don't get either one of those things either, it would help others. This is a "feel good" vote. It won't do crap but, it will make me feel good to say I voted to help disabled people. If able bodied people can't make it to the gym, what the hell makes you think disabled people are just itching to go?
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    Fitness shouldn’t be limited to the fully able.
    Like (42)
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    If there was enough people with disabilities who wanted accessible fitness centers, then the free market would fill the need. Tax credits and laws that impose requirements on private businesses shouldn’t even be on the table.
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    Disabled people are people.
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    I really need a “it depends” button here. Wheel care accessible, sure. Access to equipment that is generally available and useable without modification, or could be readily modified with blocks, extra links, or even user supplied “adapters”, sure. Access to equipment that can be adapted for use with ‘common’ disabilities (‘common’, tbd), possibly. Access to equipment for any disability, NO. This is way too open ended. It would expose businesses to unlimited legal risks and put them all out of business- thus assuring NO ONE would have access to these facilities. There are a lot of “where-as” and “what-for” details that need to be clearly defined before I can jump on-board with this bill.
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    We have enough laws about accessibility. Senator 🙄 every gym I’ve seen has access. I’ve not seen every gym out there but how about we enforce the laws we already have senator, instead of making redundant laws.
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    You know, I’v never seen a gym that wasn’t accessible for the disabled because the ADA already exists. Although I’m sure a few exist somewhere that are not ADA compliant, so why not enforce the laws already in place? I DO know a LOT of people without access to affordable healthcare. Maybe we could help everyone out more with a UNIVERSAL SINGLE PAYER HEALTHCARE SYSTEM.
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    Get the federal government out of private business.
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    Good God, don’t legislators have a clue? Equitable access to healthcare (including mental health) will do more for the well-being of those who are differently-abled (both cognitively and physically) than a bunch of duplicate rebranding of current legislative measures will ever have the potential to do. Second of all, of all this is a corporate responsibility not a tax payer responsibility. If corporations do not provide the bells and whistles customers want they will fail. Third and final out....It is already being done and we have been moving this direction for several years: other than the last couple years when logic, rationale thought, and ethics flew out the window (thanks largely to the GOP) and in favor of bonuses, kickbacks, earmarks, and other forms of corporate coercive control tactics. The current approach for bushinesses is Universal Design. UD, has been so effective in the business industry that Massachusetts educators have adopted and modified the UD algorithmic thinking to provide a more methodical and equitable approach to the teaching/learning framework. More specially, UDL, Universal Design for Learning, when used in education, brings both a methodical conscious lesson planning process in education because when used in business world UD has a strong track record of effectiveness in meeting/planning for the needs of customers who are differently able. ——- Now, if Trump, the GOP, or whomever is handling the needs of this country, would put back the data system monitoring the effectiveness of teacher training programs and the Dems would demand that industry subsidies be used to boost the salaries our underpaid and undervalued teaching industry (instead of largely profitable private energy and pharmaceutical industry sectors). Then... just maybe.. teachers might actually have the time to explore and implement the mountains of research (paid for by tax dollars) detailing effective teaching programs/practices and the ability to track which teaching programs are creating effective teachers. IMHO...A better alternative and more ethical use of public tax dollars would be in an industry filled with public servants working for the people, and whose salaries are funded via tax dollars, Likewise, it would definitely help matters, if the NRA would stop trying to force teachers to carry weapons... 🎯Bottom line: Create new legislation for our current societal needs and stop trying to rebrand current legislation as new.
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    Of all the people who need to remain conditioned and fit it’s the disabled. My father was an incomplete C3 spinal fracture. They told him he would never walk. In fact he was a quad. He wouldn’t accept that. If it wasn’t for daily exercise long after the PT and OT quit, he would have remained a quad. Instead, he walked. Slowly and with a cane but he walked. Everywhere needs to accommodate the disabled. BTW, Dad was a staunch Republican.
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    Everywhere needs to be accessible for people with disabilities. Everyone has skills and abilities and deserve the opportunity to be able to use them.
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    A business should have the freedom to cater to anyone they choose without government interference. If a business chooses to comply, reward them with some kind of tax incentive. Constant interference from the government only discourages free enterprise & small business owners.
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    I don’t see any reason why disabled persons should not have access to gyms. Please support this bill.
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    A new law is not necessary!
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    I believe in the free market
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    Since this requirement already exists, this bill does nothing. What needs focus is the enforcement of the requirement.
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    It is already a requirement. It's redundant and a duplicate law.
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    Damn... It’s sooo easy to look like a ‘dick’ here, but my answer is about being a private business. If the place doesn’t have the gym set up for people with disabilities, they can just goto another gym. Free market is what we’re about.
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    The Americans with Disabilities Act The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal civil rights law that prohibits disability discrimination in various settings including housing, employment, education, and public accommodations; it prohibits the exclusion of people with disabilities from everyday activities, such as buying an item at the store, watching a movie in a theater, enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, exercising at the local gym, or having the car serviced at a garage. To meet the goals of the ADA, the law established requirements for private businesses of all sizes. These requirements first went into effect on January 26, 1992.
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