As we settle into our new work home at Ascent Wellness Program Campus, it is important to learn how Cátia and Tony have designed and prepared the space for everyone in a safe and sustainable way. Besides the obvious additional space created for us to work with clients in, a number of features have been prepared to increase the quality of our services for clients. A number of our clients require physical adaptations to accessing wellness services and it is important that we stay in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in order to provide equal access for all clients. Here are some accessibility tips in our public spaces that you and your clients can utilize in our new campus!
Entrance - Did you know that we have two client entrances? That’s right! We have our entrance on the corner of 5th & Vliet streets as well as another entrance on 5th street. The entrance on 5th street is our designated entrance for folks who require a zero grade (think “no steps”) entry to access our facility. The entrance on 5th street is locked at all times. We have equipped this entrance with a doorbell to assist the client’s in gaining entry if they arrive early for their appointment and you are not available to greet them.
Kitchen (for client services only) - Our client kitchen is equipped with a number of features to increase access too! We have multiple surface levels to accommodate clients of all heights while adhering to physical distancing in the space. Additionally, there is a TV mounted above the sink to display recipes, resources, and support for nutrition sessions in a larger format. We have step stools available for clients and a number of adapted utensils and kitchen items to increase access and safety.
Bathrooms - Clients should be directed to the bathroom in the front lobby and the bathroom upstairs in the yoga area. These bathrooms are equipped with sound machines, air filters, and art to help these spaces double as a wind down space for anyone who needs a break from their session or promote a client’s self-care practice. Step stools are also available in the bathrooms for those who may need one. The air filters will help clean the air without the use of scents that could be offensive or distracting, especially to clients with sensory-processing challenges.
Elevator - Our elevator is slow and due to COVID-19 can accommodate one person (two people if in the same household or a person’s caregiver). Please prepare clients for this experience, especially if your client may develop anxious feelings easily. A gentle reminder that your provider will be available at the other end and that it just may take a few extra seconds to get to your destination.
Please feel free to ask us questions and let us know what you are enjoying about the new space!
About the Author:
Grant Heffelfinger is AWP's Youth Services Manager. He is a Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer through American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and received a Bachelor’s Degree from UW-Milwaukee in Kinesiology. Grant also received a Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders while attending UW-Milwaukee and has knowledge of Autism research, methods, and support. Collectively, he has worked with individuals with disabilities for the last 10 years. Outside of his work as a Personal Trainer, he facilitates workshops, presentations, and IL Skills classes on topics including: Sex, Sexuality, Relationships, Independent Living and Disability History. Grant also serves on the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL)’s Youth Executive Committee. In this role with APRIL, he has been able to apply his local efforts with youth on a national platform for equal rights for people with disabilities. Grant has a passion that is in line with the Independent Living Philosophy and continues to advocate for his community.