Disability Policy 2023

Westpark disability officer:

Lizzie Minihan
Gym Manager

1. Westpark Disability Mission Statement

Westpark Disability Mission statement:

Develop, maintain and support a comprehensive policy of equality. It aims to create the conditions whereby staff, all users and any other individual associated with the centre are treated equitably, regardless of gender, disability, sexual orientation, race, membership of the traveller community, religious beliefs, ages, marital status. Develop, maintain and support existing policies to improve access to the facilities.

Definition of Disability:

  • The total or partial absence of a person’s bodily or mental functions, including absence of a part of a person’s body.
  • The presence in the body of organisms causing or likely to cause, chronic disease or illness.
  • The malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of a person’s body.
  • A condition or malfunction which results in a person learning differently from a person without the condition or malfunction.
  • A condition, illness, or disease, which affects a person’s thought process, perception of reality, emotions or judgement or which results in disturbed behaviour.

Westpark Fitness is committed to providing equality of opportunity to people with disabilities in all aspects of their sport and leisure facilities. As part of this commitment, Westpark Fitness aims to ensure that people with disabilities have full access to the facilities, the equipment, programmes provided, information provided and professional assistance from Westpark Fitness Staff.

Westpark Fitness is committed to:

  • Proactively promoting the facilities to people with disabilities.
  • Increase the percentage of users with disabilities within facility.
  • Ensuring that people with disabilities will be facilitated in all aspects of the club activity and they will not be disadvantaged by the by reason of having a disability.
  • Removing all barriers that prevent access to participation in the Westpark Fitness, for people with disabilities.
  • Ensuring all equipment in place for people with disabilities is kept up to date, managed and serviced, to maintain an ‘access for all’ environment.
  • The ‘Access for All’ environment and recognise that to ensure such integration, the staff members and trained and monitored with regards to people with disabilities using the facility.


  • To enable people with disabilities to access inclusive fitness facilities/ equipment
  • Increase awareness of barriers experienced
  • Consider the need for integrated or segregated activities
  • Develop a policy of inclusion
  • To pro-actively promote and market the availability of inclusive fitness equipment for people with disabilities
  • To raise the profile and the value of sport, health amongst people with disabilities
  • To further promote the pathways for disabled people to subsequently access and progress into existing or new sporting and leisure activities

Barriers to participation

  • Lack of organised fitness programmes
  • Lack of informal early experiences in fitness
  • Lack of role models
  • Lack of access to coaching and training programmes
  • No money
  • Poor physical access to sports facilities


  • Knowledge about the benefits of physical activity
  • Poor attitudes and self-concept
  • Poor body image
  • Embarrassment
  • Over protected as child and adult
  • Fear of failure


  • Attitude of others
  • Ecological barriers, hills, paths, snow
  • Communication links
  • Time

Coaching visually impaired individuals

  • Introduce yourself immediately to the athlete
  • Use their name to get their attention
  • Give a clear description of their surroundings
  • Inform them of any changes in the layout
  • Give as much verbal feedback as possible
  • Supply written information in large print, audio, and Braille if possible
  • Keep background noise to a minimum

Coaching deaf or hearing impaired

  • Stand still and face the athlete
  • Speak slowly and clearly
  • Use gestures and facial expressions to emphasize points
  • To attract attention, wave or tap the athlete on the shoulder
  • Give clear instructions, write the down
  • Check that the athlete understands the instructions
  • Use the diagrams or pictures to emphasize points
  • Be patient

Coaching people with a learning disability

  • Give clear concise instructions
  • Use demonstration
  • Ensure the individual is looking at you and observing
  • Treat people by their age
  • Have age-appropriate activities and music
  • Repeat activities in a variety of ways
  • Break down skills into basic parts
  • Praise when success is achieved, encourage when not
  • Try and ensure success- ‘Catch them being good’

Coaching people with a physical disability

  • Discuss the equipment needs and adaptations
  • Ask what they can do, not what they can’t do
  • Wheelchairs are very much part of their personal space so do not lean or sit on it
  • Those who are ambulant may need to rest periodically
  • Try to sit at wheelchair level when talking to the individual

Check for extremes of heat and cold, proper posture, bone density variations, toileting routine, fluid intake, pressure sores or injury, contractures, irregular heart rates

2. Disabled Access

  • The entrance to the club has a wheelchair lift to the reception lobby
  • The turnstiles have a wheelchair access gate
  • The wheelchair changing room/ shower is located behind reception on the ground floor
  • All floors may be accessed by changing rooms on the ground floor
  • A disability audit is done annually, the results of which can be reviewed in our disability folder
  • Lockers available in the changing area at the bottom level

3. Facility in Place

  • Car Park spaces situated to the left and right of our front door. Easy access into the club
  • A lift in the foyer to bring you into reception
  • We have a portable induction loop system at reception
  • Gate at reception to let you go through to the changing facilities
  • A disabled toilet with shower / bench and locker facilities / alarm pull cord
  • A lift to bring you to level 1 or level 2
  • On both levels there are cable machines & dumbbells which are wheelchair accessible
  • On level 2 we have two ergo meter bikes – which is a cardio workout for the upper body
  • All staff were put through a disability awareness workshop which was run through Ufit and have done inclusive training through Cara and is scheduled again later in the year

4. Disability Action Plans to Date

A Disability Action Plan is a way for an organization to plan the removal, as far as possible, of discrimination against people with disability. An action plan identifies ways that you as an organization can ensure that your goods, services, premises, and facilities are accessible and non-discriminatory to people with disability. Since our National Quality Standard (NQS) audit last year Westpark have strived to improve the club to be more disabled friendly. We have installed the following and we are looking to improve more by the end of 2023.

  • A portable loop induction system has been placed at reception
  • Bench and lockers have been put into the disabled toilet
  • 2 ergo meter bikes are now on level 1 which is wheelchair accessible
  • A cable cross over has been installed on level one which is wheelchair accessible
  • Staff are yearly put through inclusive training and been put through a disability awareness workshops which was run through Ufit and CARA
  • Extra parking spots

5. Future Plans

Plan for the future of Westpark Fitness disability action

  • Pool Heist
  • Dual use equipment
  • Area around the pool to be colour coded
  • Lockers divided up around the changing rooms
  • Thread mill frame to be erected for wheelchair users
  • Disabled policy statement –updated
  • Westpark fitness centre’s disability mission statement updated

6. Disabled User Evacuation Plan

Disabled user evacuation Plan

  • On sounding of alarm all procedures set out in the E.A.P for fire should be followed
  • Club manager appoints one staff member to check disabled refugee points on level 1 and 2 & changing rooms
  • If on checking, there is a member at refugee point extra help should be summoned and if needed disabled person lifted downstairs in evac chair
  • This should be done by four staff members


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