After your visit
So you decided to spend a hot summer day with family at the local swimming pool. You called the pool in advance to find out if a swimming pool lift was available for your wife, who uses a wheelchair. The pool staff affirmed they did have a lift and it was set up for use. However, after getting to the pool, you and your wife discover the lift is not operational since it has not been used very often or checked during routine maintenance inspections. When you reported the problems with the lift to the pool staff during your visit, the pool staff called for maintenance on the lift. In a matter of 15 to 20 minutes, the lift was again operational and you and your wife were able to enjoy the hot summer day in the pool.
|Lifeguards at the local pool check the operation of the pool lift.|
It is especially important for people with disabilities to give continuous feedback to event staff, program coordinators, and facility managers on the effectiveness of accessibility features within specific programs, services, and facilities. Operational dollars have been designated to make accessibility improvements. However, if the accessibility improvements are not functional or effective, they have not served their purpose of creating an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from the program or activity for people with disabilities. Thus, continuous feedback from consumers with disabilities can help park and recreation professionals to improve their facilities and services to best meet the needs of all of their visitors and participants. Let the park staff know when an accessible element is not working or effective and let them know how they can improve it for future visitors.
Furthermore, keep in mind that one of the most commonly heard complaints from park and recreation professionals is that they have spent money to make accessibility improvements, but still the park, facility, program, or accessible element goes unused by people with disabilities. When you have an enjoyable experience at a park, recreation program, or facility, also be sure to let the staff know that as well. The program staff and facility managers especially want to know that they are serving their customers well. They will appreciate your compliment and most likely continue to work diligently to provide programs and facilities that are accessible and usable to visitors of all abilities.