New YMCA serves people of all abilities

The sensory room inside the new Jackson R. Lehman Family YMCA in Fort Wayne.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A new YMCA set to open in Fort Wayne next week will provide programs for people of all abilities.

The Jackson R. Lehman Family YMCA is located at 5680 YMCA Park Dr. in Fort Wayne. There was a ribbon cutting at the brand new facility Friday. It features traditional programs and exercise equipment along with features for people with special needs and disabilities.

“With equipment and with staff programming there are attempts so that every member of your family, regardless of their ability, has the opportunity to benefit from the Y,” AWS Foundation CEO Patti Hays said.

AWS Foundation was a crucial partner in helping design the new facility. The new YMCA also features a sensory room.

“A child with autism, or adult, can come in and find some calm, some comfort that will help make the rest of the activities at the Y available to them,” Hays said.

Another highlight is the AWS Foundation Aquatic Center. It features large, private changing rooms, ramps into the water and a warm pool.

“Individuals with physical disabilities, tight muscles, arthritis and different conditions of aging – warm water can loosen up those joints, those muscles, ease some pain and thus enhance that ability for full range of motion,” Hays said.

YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne CEO Marty Pastura said the Y’s mission is to include “all” and with this new facility, it’s doing just that.

“We wanted to make sure we laid out a facility for all in mind. That means everybody. Young, old, whatever ability you have is very important to the success of the YMCA to serve the community,” Pastura said.

To learn more about the new facility click here.