For Immediate Release — December 13, 2005
For Further Information, Please Contact:
Linda D. Kilb
Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
On behalf of 24 Hour Fitness
Ketchum Public Relations
Leading Gym Chain Confirms Philosophy: “Fitness A Way of Life for Everyone”
Through an amicable collaboration, the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, Inc. (“DREDF”) and 24 Hour Fitness have reached consensus regarding issues concerning access for patrons with disabilities at 24 Hour Fitness clubs. The gym chain has confirmed its long-standing commitment to comply with disability rights laws by making reasonable modifications to club policies to enable people with disabilities to participate in fitness activities. In some instances, patrons with disabilities need the help of a personal assistant when exercising. Pursuant to the existing guidance that it provides to all employees, 24 Hour Fitness will continue to permit such patrons to be accompanied by their assistants at all club facilities. Because such assistants further full and equal access, they are not required to pay any dues or membership fees when accompanying a current club member with a disability.
DREDF approached the company for information about its policies on behalf of Matthew Bolorin, a California teenager who uses a wheelchair for mobility, and who needs some help in conducting his workouts. Matthew has limited exercise options at home, and was interested in joining 24 Hour Fitness to increase his motivation and improve his general health. He sought help from DREDF after confusion arose at one of the clubs over the assistant issue. “I just wanted to go work out with other people where there’s more equipment and more things to do.” Matthew is now doing just that, as discussions between DREDF and the company quickly confirmed that he is welcome to bring an assistant to the club free of charge. “I’m really glad I can go to the gym now,” said Matthew, who is looking forward to expanding his fitness regime.
24 Hour Fitness, which began as a one-club operation in 1983, is now the world’s largest privately owned and operated gym chain. 24 Hour Fitness is thrilled to welcome Matthew back to our club as we pursue our mission to make fitness a way of life for everyone. We encourage members who have questions or concerns regarding their workout experience to contact their local 24 Hour Fitness club manager or visit www.24hourfitness.com. 24 Hour Fitness remains dedicated to offering affordable, accessible multi-sport fitness centers to people of all abilities and fitness levels.
DREDF, founded in 1979, is a national law and policy center dedicated to advancing and protecting the civil rights of people with disabilities. Headquartered in Berkeley, California, DREDF is staff- and board-led primarily by people with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities. You may visit our website at www.dredf.org.