Swimming Pool Accessibility

Back to Blog Articles
16 April 2019

Swimming Pool Accessibility

In the last 12 months, we have worked on many public and privately operated swimming pools throughout Victoria, NSW and Queensland.

There is a recurring theme – the type and design of the amenities and the types of pool entrance accessibility. The amenities are relatively easy, with the following

Changing places facility
Unisex accessible (a minimum of two where a portable hoist can ensure a higher capacity when the changing places toilet is in great demand through group use) including change benches
Unisex ambulant accessible toilets
Family change rooms including change benches
School gender facilities including ambulant accessible toilets
First aid room

The provision of these ensures people from all abilities, backgrounds and recreational requirements can fully enjoy the pools before and after use.

Swimming is one of the few recreation / sporting activities that allows freedom from impairment or mobility level, regardless of age. Toddlers pools, program pools, splash parks, swimming pools, spa’s or beach entry wave pools. There is something for everyone in the community. The challenge is how to get people of all abilities and accessibility levels, into and out of them.

The range of equipment varies significantly in their cost to build, install, manage and maintain. The following highlight the key benefits and types:

Pool pod
Benefit – Independent operation, can be moved and offers a range of abilities access to the pool
Negatives – Expensive, not appropriate for people with high mobility needs or who use a large wheelchair

Aqua Creek Pro or King Fisher hoists
Benefit – Inexpensive, independent operation, battery power, movable, small space impact
Negatives – not appropriate for people with high mobility, care needs or who use a large wheelchair

Pelican pool hoist – sling style
Benefits – large lifting capacity, designed for people with high mobility or care needs
Negatives – not independently operable, intensive staff use, large footprint when not in use

Pool ramps
Benefits – Non-mechanical issues, can be used by people with ambulatory disabilities
Negatives – Expensive, wet wheelchairs are generally poor and require staff assistance, not desirable for people with high mobility or care needs

Spa ledge (460mm high & 400mm wide)
Benefits – Non-mechanical issues, people with temperature regulation issues, ideal for elderly or mobile wheelchair uses to transfer onto the ledge and ease themselves into the space
Negatives – not desirable for people with high mobility or care needs, difficult for a kingfisher or Aqua Creek pro pool hoist to move over the top of

These are by no means an exhaustive list of what should be provided as each facility is different, however providing a number of these features, ensure that inclusivity, accessibility and community sustainability is achieved.

Contact us

Have a

Have a project or design that needs an expert accessibility consultant? The team at MGAC are ready to hear from you.

Our skilled consultants are specialists in the application of DDA, UD, Accessibility, and Human Movement related to Australian Standards, NCC and Safety in Design.

Fill out the contact form and one of our access consultants will be in contact within 48 hours. Alternatively, you can contact one of our offices directly.

Please complete the email form and we will come back to you as soon as possible. Alternatively you can contact us directly using the contact details on the right

Our Offices

Studio 6, Level 1
56 Bowman Street
Pyrmont NSW, 2009
(02) 9692 9322
Unit 304, 87 Gladstone St
South Melbourne, VIC 3205
(03) 9690 0102
99 Kingfisher Road
Victoria Point
Brisbane QLD, 4165
0476 299 321
24 Mumford Place
Balcatta, Perth, WA, 6021
0414 576 891