Accessibility Audit of the ground floor of The Recreation and Physical Activity Center (RPAC)
By: Lucy Chung, Mariela Monzalvo, Geneva Sandridge, & Rebecca Woodson
The objective of this audit is to evaluate the accessibility of the RPAC. Accessibility refers to the available usage of facilities, products, and overall experiences, both directly and indirectly, to all individuals.
The Recreation and Physical Activity Center (RPAC) is a facility that is used by public as well as The Ohio State University students and faculty. It is located at 337 Annie and John Glenn Ave, Columbus, OH 43210.
The Recreation and Physical Activity Center (RPAC) is used for special events like intramural sports tournaments, or fitness classes, organization meetings, sports classes, weight room, pool area, swim and dive meets, and etc. The facility itself is big and it is connected to the Physical Activity and Education Services building by a bridge a.k.a Scarlet Skyway. Also, the RPAC was constructed on June 9, 2003 for ground breaking. For the phase 1, it was constructed on 2005. As for phase 2, it was constructed on the year of 2007. RPAC is located near the Ohio State Football Stadium. In addition, it is one of the must-go campus tour spot.
This is one of the entrances to the ground floor, which is the elevator. It goes from ground floor to the fourth floor. However, it takes a long time to go from one floor to another due to having only one accessible elevator.
This is one of the entrance which is the stairs on the side and is nearby an emergency exit.
This is one of the entrance, which is the ramp. As you can see, it is close to the wall and there are giant poles along the ramp that makes it hard for two people to go through.
This is the main stairs accessible to ground floor and to all floors. It is pretty wide enough for two people to stand side-by-side.
This entrance is the back stairs leading to the weight room on the ground floor.
In order to go to ground floor, there are five entrances that people can enter to and from; the ramp, back stairs, main stairs, elevator, and other stairs. The ramp is on the side that leads to the weight room of the ground floor. Main stairs is in the middle of the first floor that connects toward the second and ground floor. The back stairs is located near the (emergency) exit. As for the elevator, it is located on the opposite side of the ramp. The width of back stairs is 35 inches; the ramp is 56 inches; side stairs is 34.5 inches; main stairs is 47 inches; and elevator is 46 inches.
Once on the ground floor, depending on the exact location of the ground floor, one can see varieties of activities and facilities within the space. The RPAC ground floor and any other floors have rugs and permeable surfaces to prevent slippery surfaces. There are several bathrooms located near the weight room, main stairs, family changing rooms, pool area, and within the locker rooms, so in total, there are 5 sets of male and female accessible restrooms located and 5 “family” restrooms. For each separate areas such as bathrooms, locker rooms, pool areas, and etc, they have signs with braille on them. Also, with the signs, there are maps showing where each area is located. However, there are a few select signs, such as policy for the facility, that do not include braille.
Female Restroom on the Ground Floor
For every male restroom located there are restrooms for females next to or nearby. When one goes inside the women restroom, there are 12 stalls inside. All of them are able to be locked inside. The light switch is more than 5 feet off the ground however, the paper towel dispenser is less than 5 feet off the ground. In addition, the soap dispensers are within the arms reach distance. As for the soap, the facility uses fragrance free soap.
When entering the restroom, no one needs key to access the restroom. Next to the restroom, there are water fountains. Inside the stalls, each stall’s entrance is 34 inches wide. There are grab bars but only on the back.
Accessibility on the Ground Floor
This is the water fountains located between Women and Men’s Restroom. One fountain is a bit lower than the other. One thing to note is that the higher fountain is unavailable due to being out of order.
This is the water fountains next to the Women and Men’s Restroom. Also pictured is hand sanitizer next to the fountains
Near the locker rooms, there is a machine where you can check your blood pressure whether it would be high, low, or normal.
If you do not know how to use the machine, the pictured sign tells you the accurate way to measure your blood pressure. However, the sign is not in braille, thus making it inaccessible to some individuals.
This room is a babysitting room. As you can see, if you need someone to look over your child while you work out, then ask a student babysitter to look over him or her.
Inside the building, it uses fluorescent and daylight. However, switches, blinds, dimmers and etc are unavailable to the public. Most of the time, the inside temperature is unable to control but the employees of the facility. Music is played in the background but not as loud and sometimes, the sounds of buzzing come from the lights and workout machines. The building itself is clean. However, it does not show what chemicals are being used to clean it. In addition, when we access the locker rooms and bathrooms, there are no automatic buttons and doors are not very wide.
While the facility is beneficial for many, there is always room for improvement to be more accessible for everybody. Small steps such as labeling the cleaning products with the chemicals inside would be beneficial to everybody. Another improvement that could be made is making a separate space that is more considerate of everybody’s needs. This separate space could be a quiet space where individuals have access to the control of the lighting and temperature. It also never hurts to educate the facility’s staff on the varying degree of ability for their members. With that, it would more than likely lead to the staff being more mindful of how to be more inclusive of everybody.