“Just Another Reasonable Adjustment”

I’ve written about swimming quite a lot recently, but please forgive one more watery anecdote – I realised last night I haven’t ever written about the reasonable adjustments the lifeguards at the pool make for my disability.

‘Reasonable adjustment’ is the term used to describe an adaptation or change to an environment, service, procedure or policy that allows equal access for a disabled person. Reasonable adjustments are a key part of the Disability Discrimination Act and The Equality Act.

It means that if doing something the usual way substantially disadvantages a disabled person there’s a duty on the service-provider or employer to make a reasonable adjustment and do it differently. Reasonable adjustments can be small changes and they may easily go unnoticed. But if they’re not made the impact on a disabled person’s access to a service can be huge.

If my local swimming pool did not make some simple reasonable adjustments I wouldn’t be able to swim there safely. But they’re very co-operative and this is what they do:

• Allow a carer (or two) to swim with me for no extra charge
• Allow me to leave my wheelchair and emergency bag at the edge of the pool
• Allow me to swim up and down at one side of the pool so I can hold on if I need to, rather than following the usual anti-clockwise pattern for lane swimming.

This flexibility means I can swim and exercise and stay fit as a result. It also means that right now I’m ticcing “Just another reasonable adjustment” to the tune of Just Another Manic Monday.

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