Tips for People with Visual Disabilities
If you join a fitness center, you want to have the same access to all areas, programs, and services as other members of the facility. Accessibility issues and barriers are different for each individual, but some barriers are common for people with visual disabilities. Anita Aaron describes her experience this way:
"To fully participate in a fitness facility, I either need to hire (and then train) a personal trainer or memorize by repeated trips with a sighted guide the equipment that I am able to use without assistance and where it is located. Of course, that only works until the personal trainer and equipment is moved around. I know of no gym or fitness center that has incorporated cardio equipment with audio or Braille information into its fleet of equipment choices. The more electronic and digital exercise equipment becomes, the more impossible it is for blind people to use. It is almost impossible for someone with significant vision loss to participate at a gym or fitness center without a sighted guide. (Some of the issues are) Navigating the crowded landscape (crowded with people and equipment), locating the equipment you want to use, being able to set up the equipment for yourself, i.e., set time and speed on treadmills or exercise bikes or set weight machines for position and amount of weight, or find free weights, dressing rooms, etc. are all partially or totally inaccessible.6 "