The Overbrook School for the Blind’s Kappen Aquatic Center is home to the first LEED Platinum certified natatorium in the United States. The Vision of Overbrook School for the Blind is to inspire individuals with visual impairment, including those with additional challenges, to achieve their highest potential; to share our culture that embraces their abilities; to be a dynamic and leading educational organization; and to use our expertise to positively influence our students, families, partners and peers, regionally, nationally and internationally. Continuing on Overbrook’s rich tradition as being the first school for the blind to feature an on-campus pool, each day our staff at the Kappen Aquatic Center carries out programs that have been adapted and tailored to meet the needs of children who are blind, visually impaired or living with additional disabilities. The Mission of Overbrook School for the Blind is to develop and deliver education that enhances the options available for persons with visual impairments, including those with additional challenges, so that they have the greatest opportunity to experience active and fulfilling lives.The Kappen Aquatic Center boasts a six-lane, 25-yard competition pool that is equipped with lane ropes, ramp access, stair access and, if required, pool lift access. The competition pool is utilized for swim lessons, Eastern Athletic Association of the Blind swim meets hosted by Overbrook School for the Blind, and staff swimming activities. In addition to the competition pool, the Kappen Aquatic Center also features an activity pool that provides a multi-sensory experience for swimmers of all ages. Features include a splash tower, a bubble couch a gentle current throughout the pool, chair lift access, stair access and zero-depth access. The activity pool is utilized for sensory stimulation, swim lessons and water walking and more…
The Kappen Aquatic Center is a Certified American Red Cross – “ Learn To Swim Program” in which we parallel our aquatics program along with adapting to the individual needs of our students. Our adapted aquatics must be even more conscious of aquatic safety than non-adapted aquatics. As a result, many of our students require additional precautions to safely enjoy the water.
The Kappen Aquatic Center utilizes many different tools to adapt the aquatic experience in a safe and engaging way. Of these, our most vital pieces of equipment are lifejackets. The majority of our students regularly wear some form of flotation device (be it a lifejacket or Aqua Jogger) in order to aid them in safely enjoying the aquatic experience. It is therefore with great honor and appreciation that we were awarded a grant from the AOAP for 25 new lifejackets for our students. These jackets will be used for students ranging from as young as 3 to as old as 21 years of age. Aquatic safety is an integral part of everyone’s swimming education program. This becomes even more applicable when working with our population at the Kappen Aquatic Center. Our adapted aquatics must be even more conscious of aquatic safety than non-adapted aquatics. As a result, many of our students require additional precautions to safely enjoy the water – such as incorporating the use of lifejackets and water safety skill awareness into each lesson. In addition, whenever a new student arrives to experience the aquatic program – the very first step taken is to fit them for an appropriately sized lifejacket. These sizes are then recorded for future reference and made easily accessible to all staff. There is Always Fun and Fitness at the Kappen Aquatic Center! The KAC is all about safety, health, fun and swimming! Our students love the KAC and the staff!
Thank you AOAP for awarding the Kappen Aquatic Center 25 lifejackets as part of the lifejacket grant. We value your support and contribution to our aquatic program!
Written by Damaris Shiavi Schaefein – Kappen Aquatic Center Coordinator AND Zachary Altman – Water Safety Instructor/Head Guard
Overbrook School For The Blind Kappen Aquatic Center, 6333 Malvern Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19151 215-877-0313 x 258