Mary Free Bed YMCA a global first for accessibility

Thursday, December 3, marked the start of an exciting new chapter in accessibility and opportunity. The West Michigan community — including many representatives from Mary Free Bed — came together to celebrate the ribbon cutting of the much-anticipated Mary Free Bed YMCA.

This first-of-its-kind Y is the first health and wellness facility in the world to receive Universal Design Certification from the Global Universal Design Commission. It’s been dubbed the gold standard for universal design and inclusion, and will serve as a model for others around the world.

Mary Free Bed YMCA Opens December 2015The Mary Free Bed Guild invested in this project as part of its mission to foster hope and freedom for all.

“The Guild’s longtime dream of offering a health and wellness facility to the community for people of all abilities is happening here and is happening today,” said Shelley Mishler, President, Mary Free Bed Guild Fund.

The new Y will serve as a home base for Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports teams and clinics, and the Mary Free Bed Musculoskeletal Clinic will provide some on-site services. Additionally, people of all ages and abilities will be able to enjoy fully-accessible fitness equipment, a climbing wall, several pools, the Carol Van Andel Healthy Living Center and much more.

Read more about the fully-accessible Mary Free Bed YMCA. See additional facility and ribbon-cutting event photos, here. And, learn more about the innovative design by Progressive AE.

Mary Free Bed YMCA Universal Design Ramp

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