Embracing diversity, fostering equity, and promoting inclusion are not just buzzwords – they are fundamental pillars shaping a vibrant and progressive aquatic industry. In today's world, where every individual's unique voice and perspective matter, the quest for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) stands as an imperative for all sectors, including aquatic professionals. 

Below is a curated collection of invaluable resources tailored specifically for aquatic professionals. Whether you're seeking insights to cultivate a more inclusive atmosphere, aiming to address disparities, or striving to champion diversity within your aquatic community, these resources offer a compass to navigate and embrace the transformative power of diversity, equity, and inclusion in every pool, aquatic center, and waterfront. 

Each of these resources plays a crucial role in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the aquatic industry, contributing to the creation of more welcoming and accessible spaces for all. 


Swimwear Policies and Signage Examples 


The Association of Aquatic Professionals (AOAP) brings forth a valuable repository featuring national swimwear policies, an essential aspect of creating an inclusive aquatic environment. Alongside these policies, they showcase signage examples. These signs not only ensure safety but also cultivate an atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable and respected while enjoying poolside activities. 


Inclusive Language Guide 


The American Psychological Association (APA) offers an extensive resource that delves into the nuances of language. It's a comprehensive guide outlining guidelines and recommendations to embrace inclusive language. By respecting and acknowledging diverse identities and experiences, this resource aids in crafting communications that resonate with and honor all individuals. 


Equity In Practice Resource Library 


A collection of resources, tools, and best practices from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) designed to promote equity and inclusion in the field of parks, recreation, and community spaces. It offers guidance, research, and strategies to support diverse communities and enhance accessibility to recreational opportunities for all. This library isn't just a collection of materials; it's a guiding beacon offering strategies and insights to enhance accessibility and support for diverse communities seeking recreational opportunities. 


Breastfeeding Laws 


An overview of breastfeeding laws in the United States curated by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) serves as a vital resource. By providing clear insights into legal protections, this resource empowers individuals, ensuring they are aware of their rights when it comes to breastfeeding in public spaces, and safeguarding against any discriminatory practices. 


Bans on Bathrooms  


This resource sheds light on the current landscape of bathroom laws in the United States concerning gender, courtesy of the Movement Advancement Project. Offering a comprehensive understanding of these laws equips individuals and organizations with essential information to advocate for and uphold inclusive restroom policies that respect diverse gender identities. 


Service & Emotional Support Animals 


Understanding the complex legal framework surrounding service animals in public spaces is crucial. This federal resource aids in navigating these laws and regulations, ensuring clarity and compliance. By providing guidance, it fosters an environment where both businesses and individuals understand their respective rights and responsibilities. 


Inclusive Calendar 


The Seramount Inclusive Calendar provides a framework and actionable guidance for public agencies. Its focus on diversity and representation in event planning contributes to creating more inclusive and equitable community engagements. This resource is a tool for scheduling events that honor various cultural heritages and observances. 


Considerations for Hiring in Aquatics 


HydroApps’s blog HydroLogic recently featured a post offering expert insights and tips on cultivating a more inclusive and diverse team in the aquatics industry. By addressing considerations specific to hiring practices, it serves as a practical guide for organizations aiming to create a more diverse workforce. 


Effective Communication 


A resource for regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for Title II (State and local government services) and Title III (public accommodations and commercial facilities). It provides guidance on ensuring effective communication, a vital aspect of fostering inclusivity within state and local government services as well as public accommodations and commercial facilities. 


Disability Rights Laws 


Offering an overview of Federal civil rights law ensuring equal opportunity for people with disabilities, this guide is an essential resource. By outlining these laws, it reinforces the commitment to providing equal opportunities and access for individuals with disabilities across various domains. 


USA Swimming’s DEI Resource Center 


Explore USA Swimming’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (the National Governing Body of the sport of swimming) resources for coaches and swim professionals. USA Swimming DEI Resource Center includes USA Swimming links and resources, DEI activities and learning webinars, resources in Spanish, and an extensive code of conduct that can serve as an example.  


American Red Cross Youth Diversity Equity Inclusion Toolkit 


The American Red Cross has created a handful of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging resources, especially for instructors in recent years. Their online Instructor Inclusion Training includes videos, a series of questions, and an assessment for certification that provides an extra layer of education for instructors and instructor trainers. 

By tapping into these resources, aquatic professionals actively contribute to the evolution of spaces that transcend mere functionality. They become bastions of inclusivity, where every individual finds not just acceptance but genuine belonging in pools, water parks, splash pads, and open water.  

The significance lies not just in the access to information but in the conscientious application of these insights. It's about implementing policies that reflect respect for diverse identities, fostering environments that are not just safe but celebratory of differences, and upholding rights that ensure equal opportunities for all. 

Through these resources, the aquatic industry charts a course toward creating environments that resonate with the diverse tapestry of humanity. They enable the transformation of spaces from mere facilities to hubs of community, where every person, regardless of background or identity, feels valued and welcomed.  

In essence, each resource represents a crucial stepping stone toward building a more equitable and inclusive aquatic sphere. They stand as beacons guiding the industry toward a future where inclusivity isn't an aspiration but an ingrained reality, where water safety and access isn't a privilege but a fundamental right, and where diversity isn't just acknowledged but celebrated. Together, they pave the way for spaces that embrace, empower, and elevate every individual, ensuring that the operations, programs, and special events they oversee are reflective of the richness of the human experience. 

Kate Connell

Kate Connell is a passionate advocate for equity in recreation and aquatics. She has a track record of implementing inclusive programs, policies, and personnel practices in her role as a municipal program supervisor. Kate is a national speaker on aquatics and diversity in recreation and has presented at NRPA, AOAP, and NDPA as well as state association conferences most recently including Utah, Wisconsin, and Connecticut. She is the chair of IPRA’s Aquatics Network and the past chair-elect of NRPA’s Aquatics Network. She’s a member of AOAP’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and recently was honored as a 2022 NRPA Young Professional Fellow and Downtown Iowa City Woman of Impact. She loves to spend her recreational time with her partner and son in their airstream. Kate is the Customer Relations Manager for HydroApps. 

 Connect with Kate: LinkedIn | Equitable Aquatics  | Email