Interested in supporting our unified effort to promote inclusive opportunities in physical activity, sport and recreation for people with disabilities? 

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U.S. Department of Justice to Hold Public Meetings - Request for Comments Regarding Fitness and Recreation

The U.S. Department of Justice is holding three upcoming public hearings for comment on its recent Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM). The Department’s goal is to ensure that equipment and furniture used in programs and services provided by State and local government entities and private entities that are considered to be places of public accommodation are accessible to individuals with disabilities. The full ANPRM has specific questions on proposed regulations for the provision of movie captions, video description, next generation 9-1-1, furniture and equipment. Of particular importance to IFC's disability rights advocates and professionals are DOJ’s questions regarding proposed requirements for accessible fitness equipment and accessible golf carts.

The first public hearing is scheduled for November 18, 2010 in Chicago, IL. The other two public hearings will be held in Washington D.C. (December 16, 2010) and San Francisco, CA (January 10, 2011). People with disabilities, facility operators and recreation practitioners are encouraged to submit comment either by speaking at the public hearings or submitting input through the period of public comment which ends January 24, 2011.

The ANPRM is separated into sections by subject area. As many of you already know, individuals with disabilities have expressed concerns over the years about an inability to use exercise equipment and furniture in health clubs, hotel fitness centers, public recreation centers, public  elementary, secondary, and postsecondary institutions, and other establishments that offer exercise facilities. Regarding exercise equipment, DOJ is seeking public comment on the following two questions:

Question 12. What types of accessible exercise equipment and furniture are available on the commercial market? What types of equipment and furniture are already accessible to individuals with disabilities? Is independently operable equipment and furniture available for individuals who are blind or who have low vision, or who have manual dexterity issues.

Question 13. Should the Department require covered entities to provide accessible exercise equipment and furniture? How much of each type of equipment and furniture should be provided? Should the requirements for accessible equipment and furniture be the same for small and large exercise facilities, and if not, how should they differ?

The recommended source for finding current information on accessible fitness facilities and equipment is the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability website (

Regarding access to golf courses, DOJ has asked:

Question 14. What is the most effective means of addressing the needs of golfers with mobility disabilities? Are golf cars currently available that are readily adaptable for the addition of hand controls and swivel seats? If so, are those cars suitable for driving on greens? To what extent are accessible golf cars of all types stable, lightweight, and moderately priced?

Question 15. What are appropriate scoping requirements for accessible golf cars? Should the criteria used to determine scoping stem from factors including the number of golf course patrons, the number of golfing holes (e.g. nine, 18, or 27) at the facility, the number of inaccessible golf cars in use, or other criteria? Should each 18-hole course be required to provide a certain number of accessible golf cars?

The recommended source for finding current information on accessible golf equipment is the National Center on Accessibility website (

Information on the public hearings and the process to submit public comments is available through the DOJ web site, If you have trouble submitting comments, please contact IFC and we can help you to submit your comments.



Universal Design: Accessible Exercise Equipment is Available

This document was submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as part of the Inclusive Fitness Coalition's (IFC) response to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM). The principle of universal design is to build equipment that can be used equally by all people to the greatest extent possible.  The document provides details and images of the various access aids, cross trainers/ellipticals, lower body resistance machines, miscellaneous aids, multistations, recumbent cycles, small equipment packs, treadmills, upper body ergometers, upper body resistance machines, upright cycles, and vibration training machines that are being manufactured today.


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