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March 21, 2013

Tower Park Pool to get handicap lift

Lift will provide access for visitors with disabilities

Tower Park Pool will be adding a handicap lift to its facility for the upcoming summer season.

Jan Fawley, Logansport parks administrator, said the money for the lift was appropriated this year and will cost between $6,700 and $6,800. She said having the lift is required by federal law.

Fawley said the lift will lower people with mobility disabilities from the deck of the pool into the water.

“Frankly, we’ve had people up there that really need it, so we’re looking forward to having that for them,” Fawley said.

Linda Klinck, director of development and communications at Peak Community Services, said the lift will be a good addition to the pool.

“I’m really glad the parks department has requested that and it’s been approved,” Klinck said. “I think it can help the pool get more people in there to service a broader group of people.”

Klinck said Peak Community Services currently works with about 150 clients from a multi-county area, about 80 percent of whom reside in Cass County. She said the agency has clients who would benefit from the new lift at the pool.

“Our agency services a variety of people with different needs,” Klinck said. “There are some that could certainly utilize that.”

Klinck said the lift may also provide for rehabilitation programs.

“People are able to be a lot more mobile in water than on land and can utilize muscles more easily,” Klinck said.

Rene Robbins, habilitation coordinator at Peak Community Services, said she was glad to hear the pool will now be handicap accessible.

“We’re ecstatic about that and we think it’s wonderful,” Robbins said. “I have clients that will benefit from the use of the lift and be able to participate in summer activities because of it.”

Robbins said the lift will allow her clients to benefit in several ways, including increased independence, being able to participate in a low-impact physical activity that’s easy on muscles and joints and provide more social interaction.

“It’s good for social interaction and creating natural supports in the community and making new friends,” Robbins said. “It’s one more social thing that people can work on to have that natural relationship in the community.”

Robbins said because her clients regularly set goals for themselves that include participating in new activities, she’s glad swimming can now become one of the options.

“We’ll let them know the pool will be accessible to them,” Robbins said. “If they want to take up swimming as one of their new goals, we’ll definitely find a way to meet that goal.”

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or mitchell.kirk@pharostribune.com.

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