The news has been pretty negative this year, and if you’re like me, you look for the positive stories and hold them close to your heart. So when Blink Fitness reached out last month to tell me about their exciting achievement, I just knew I had to interview them for So About What I Said. The NYC-based gym recently received the Title III ADA Sapolin Accommodation Award from NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities for being Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant. Read on for my interview with David Collignon, Blink Fitness’ Vice President of Operations, and consider it your inspiring news nugget of the week!! xoxo
So tell me a bit about Blink Fitness
Blink Fitness is a premium quality, value-based gym that strives to be a place where gym goers of all shapes and sizes feel welcome. Since we launched our original “Every Body Happy” platform, Blink has challenged industry norms by celebrating how exercise makes you feel, not just how it makes you look. We currently have about 80 locations open and in development throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and California.
When did Blink first begin working to make its gym ADA compliant? Why did the gym decide to undergo the project? Was there a specific incident or event that got the idea rolling?
The core of Blink’s brand is rooted in the concept that fitness is for everybody, so being true to this in design and equipment selection satisfied the needs of people of all abilities.
What sort of work needed to be done to bring the gym up to ADA standards? How long did the whole project take?
Our first gym opened in 2011 and met all ADA requirements. We continue to work with the NY Commissioner of People with Disabilities to further enhance our gyms and equipment to be inclusive and easy to navigate for people of all abilities. Additionally, we are attentive to our members’ feedback and continue to make updates on an ongoing basis to meet each member’s needs.
Why is it so important for Blink to become disability-friendly?
At Blink, we focus on making fitness accessible for everybody—we want all our gym-goers to leave the gym feeling happier than when they arrived. As Blink continues to be a place where gym-goers of all shapes and sizes feel welcome, it is incredibly important for our gyms to be disability-friendly.
How did it feel to receive the award from the mayor?
It was humbling and an honor to be recognized for Blink’s efforts, and to be able to serve so many communities in NY.
How has the project been received by members of the gym?
The response has been very positive. We’ve had members reach out to let us know they appreciate our inclusive experience, whether they connect with us through social media or share their thoughts through member surveys. Our open communication with members and responsiveness to feedback has truly grown the Blink community, making our gyms a place not only to work out, but to also feel good.
What advice do you have for businesses looking to become ADA compliant?
Maintaining an ADA-compliant business is simply the right thing to do. Furthermore, it will create an inclusive and welcoming environment for the larger community and will help foster close relationships with the local population.
P.S. More Disabilities In The Media…