A friend recently told me that in some saunas in Spas and Thermal Baths, wheelchair users are not allowed to bring their own wheelchair with them. The reason is that wheelchair users take their wheelchairs inside and outside and bring dirt into the spa and eventually into the sauna. While I can understand that managers of saunas and thermal baths struggle to keep their saunas clean and hygienic, what about the issues of accessibility for wheelchair users? Don’t wheelchair users have the right of equal accessibility?
The answer of course, is yes, wheelchair users should be allowed to bring their wheelchair into a health spa or thermal bath. But it also appropriate to take measures to keep the Spa or Thermal Bath clean and hygienic. Saunas are meant to be used by all people, able bodied and disabled.
One compromise is for the spa to have some wheelchair tire covers and require that wheelchair users put the wheelchair tire covers on the wheelchair wheels when they come inside. The wheelchair tire covers will keep the spa area clean and allow equal accessibility for everyone.