This bill – the Exercise and Fitness for All Act — would establish new federal guidelines to help ensure people with disabilities have the same opportunity to use fitness facilities as their able-bodied peers and allow small businesses to use the Disabled Access Tax Credit to help cover the purchase of accessible exercise equipment.The U.S. Access Board, a federal agency that promotes accessibility, would also be required to issue updated guidelines specifying the numbers of and types of accessible equipment facilities should have.
What is Senate Bill S. 1244?
Cost of Senate Bill S. 1244
In-Depth: Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to establish new federal guidelines to help ensure people with disabilities have the same opportunity to use fitness facilities as their able-bodied peers and allow small businesses to use the Disabled Access Tax Credit to help cover the purchase of accessible exercise equipment:
“No one should be the denied the ability to lead a healthy lifestyle because they have a disability, but many exercise gyms and fitness facilities across our country are not accessible for people with disabilities and do not comply with federal rules. I know how frustrating this problem is. This legislation will help lower the barriers that prevent many Americans from accessing gyms across our country.”
Original cosponsor Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) adds:
“Everyone deserves the opportunity for a healthy life. People with disabilities are more at risk for cardiac and respiratory disease and for developing diabetes. This bill increases the likelihood that a person with a disability will have access to accessible equipment and to a professional who can support their efforts to be fit and prevent diseases.”
This bill has two Democratic cosponsors in the 116th Congress. In the 115th Congress, it had one cosponsor, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) (who’s also an original cosponsor in the current Congress) and didn’t receive a committee vote.
Of Note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that adults living with a disability experience far higher rates of obesity and chronic disease than those without a disability. Furthermore, the CDC reports that many fitness facilities’ inaccessibility creates a barrier for those with a disability to exercise, due to lack of accessible space and equipment.
The Dept. of Justice’s (DOJ) current rules already require fitness facilities to meet accessible design standards, such as providing sufficient space next to each type of exercise equipment so that a person in a wheelchair can use it. However, many fitness facilities do not currently meet these standards.
- Sponsoring Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) Press Release
- Mobility Fitness (In Favor)
- American Association of Adapted Sports Programs (In Favor)
Summary by Lorelei Yang(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / SeventyFour)
Exercise and Fitness for All Act
A bill to promote the provision of exercise or fitness equipment, and exercise or fitness classes and instruction, that are accessible to individuals with disabilities.
- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The house has not voted
- The senate has not voted
Committee on FinanceIntroducedApril 30th, 2019
- senate Committees