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LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 818
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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I have been a member of a health club twelve years

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I have been a member of a health club for over twelve years and independently accessed the pools and Jacuzzis without difficulty, even though I have chronic bilateral lymphoedema. Using the Jacuzzis is a lifeline to me. Recently, they renewed the Jacuzzis and fitted new ones with a much higher step up from poolside and a raised lip that one has to get over and the rail goes back on itself and is inadequate. The pool is not accessible for disabled people and even some non-disabled are struggling. Where do I stand on requesting that a different rail is installed because it is unsafe. I have accessed the pool only twice and had to be rescued by three people. On one occasion I slipped and almost fell under the water and was very frightened indeed. I have tried to explain the problem with management and was blamed for being abusive to lifeguards when I called out for help. I had a row with them over it and they terminated my membership forthwith over it and I am trying to get it reinstated. They said they do not have to do anything about the Jacuzzi in making it disabled accessible.
LondonlawyerJ :

Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to help you with this.

LondonlawyerJ :

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) gives you rights in the way you use services or receive goods.

It is unlawful for service providers to treat you less favourably because of your disability, and they must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for you, such as giving you extra help or changing the way they provide their services. Following changes to the law in 2004, service providers must consider making changes to physical features of their premises so that there are no physical barriers which prevent you from using their services, or make it unreasonably difficult for you to do so.

It doesn’t matter whether or not you pay for the service; it’s providing the service that matters. Services include going to a restaurant, shopping for clothes or food, using the local library, going to church or visiting your solicitor or doctor.

A service doesn’t have to be impossible to use before a service provider has to make changes. They also have to make changes when it’s unreasonably difficult. They should think about whether any inconvenience, effort, discomfort or loss of dignity you experience in using the service would be considered unreasonable by other people, if they had to endure similar difficulties.

LondonlawyerJ :

However if this is a members club and there is some sort of meaningful selection of members you will not be covered by the Act.

LondonlawyerJ :

The most practical response is to find a cub with a better jacuzzi in all honesty.

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