Aquatic Accessibility

Lifts that meet ADA guidelines typically start in the $4,000 range, as do transfer steps. Portable ramps can be purchased for as little as $3,000, but the costs are higher depending on the depth and dimensions of the pool. Zero-depth entry, permanent ramps and stairs, movable floors and transfer walls are all usually more expensive and will vary with the type of pool construction and how they impact the amount of square footage needed for all programming requirements.

Installation, storage and maintenance costs vary greatly depending on whether you are buying a permanent or temporary device. As a general rule, permanent devices are typically more expensive initially, although this cost is usually rolled into the cost of construction/renovation. Portable devices will typically have more stand-alone maintenance, storage and replacement costs.

Customer Service

Good customer service is certainly appreciated by all of your customers, and providing access to people with disabilities is no different. It requires the same positive, “can do” attitude you express to your other patrons. If your facility is working to become more accessible, you should consider providing disability awareness and sensitivity training to your new employees as well as reinforcing that message with your veterans each year.

Employees should be advocates for inclusion and be knowledgeable about adapting activities and the operation of equipment that provides access. Your brochures should work in this same vein, showing photos and information about the services you offer for patrons with disabilities.

Dr. Susan Langlois has over 25 years experience as a college professor, athletic administrator, camp director and sports facilities consultant. She is currently a professor of sport management at Springfield College School of Human Services in Stratham, NH. She can be reached via e-mail at

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  1. Aquatic Accessibility
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  3. Interactive Aquatic Strategies
  4. Accessible Canoe, Kayak Launch
  5. For Added Aquatic Security

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