Thank you to everyone that joined us on February 28, 2018 for the webinar Getting Fit with a Disability: How to Advocate for Yourself at the Gym. In the webinar, participants learned how to create a successful self-advocacy plan, effectively communicate with health and fitness professionals, and develop creative solutions that are a win-win for everyone.
If you weren’t able to join us for the live presentation, you can watch the webinar at any time. Just click the button below to view a recording of the live webinar.
Also, I want to share answers to the questions we received during and after the webinar.
Q: Is the approach I take to self-advocacy going to be different if I am just evaluating a new gym that if I am already a member under contract with a gym?
A: [Jennifer Hobbs] If you are evaluating a gym, you are in complete control. If you feel that you are not being heard or that the organization is not willing to accommodate you, you can choose not to join and find another facility. If you are interested in learning more about what look for when you are searching for a fitness facility, I encourage you to go to our website and watch our webinar How to Choose Your Gym: 5 Questions You NEED to Ask When You Have a Disability. You will get some great tips on how to plan your gym search as well as identify “red flags” to look for when touring a gym.
If you already belong to a gym, and specifically if you are in a contract, you don’t have the flexibility to just leave. Therefore, self-advocacy becomes more important. Remember, you have the same right to fully participate as any other member of the gym. That is when developing a more formal self-advocacy plan, like the one we discussed today, becomes more important.
Q: If I don’t get the results that I need from my self-advocacy efforts, what do I do next?
A: [Jennifer Hobbs] If you do not get the results that you expect, you have several options.
- You may want to investigate more official channels. This may include filing a formal compliant in writing to the organization’s management. You may also want to enlist the support of a disability advocacy organization to pursue a more formal advocacy process.
- If you feel that your legal rights are violated, contact an attorney and consider filing a legal action.
- Reassess your strategy and goals. Perhaps take another approach or pursue another issue that is easier to resolve.
- End your relationship with the facility. If you are under contract, determine the terms of the contract and terminate your membership when the contract expires.
- Finally, you may choose to accept the situation, at least for now, You may decide that continuing to pursue the issue is not worth your time and effort right now.
What are your questions and comments? Let’s continue the conversation – share your thoughts in the Comments section.