As a member of BIAN, you are entitled to a basic membership at any Niagara YMCA for a nominal fee.
As a member of BIAN, you are entitled to participate in a YMCA Membership (Basic) at a nominal fee. This membership allows BIAN members to use the pool, exercise equipment and walking track for one year at any Niagara YMCA facility:
Residents of Fort Erie are also eligible for YMCA membership. Please see frequently asked questions.
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For BIAN Members - $30
Applying for the Program
An application form is required to be submitted for the membership and must be completed by the member and a designated professional.
In order to be considered eligible to access the YMCA under the umbrella of BIAN, individuals who have sustained an Acquired Brain Injury must reside in the Niagara Region: Grimsby, Lincoln, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Pelham, Port Colborne, Thorold, St. Catharines, Wainfleet, Welland and West Lincoln. Fort Erie residents see note below.
Fort Erie and the catchment area surrounding Fort Erie is not part of our service area. However, individuals who have sustained an acquired brain injury residing in Fort Erie or the catchment area of Fort Erie will be entitled to access the YMCA of Fort Erie, as non-members of BIAN. Program Cost $30 (does not include subsidized dual membership for BIAN/OBIA).
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to be a member of BIAN in order to access the YMCA, because I just want to access the YMCA ?
Yes – you are required to be a member of BIAN in order to access the YMCA. Individuals who are survivors of an acquired brain Injury and want to access the YMCA under the umbrella of our services, are required to pay annual BIAN membership fees ($30), along with annual program fee for access for the YMCA $30, for a total of $60. (*see exception below for those residing in catchment area of Fort Erie.)
What are the eligibility requirements to be able to access the YMCA under BIAN?
In order to access one of YMCAs located in either Port Colborne, Niagara Falls, Welland, Grimsby, and /or St. Catharines, you must reside in our area of Service, as follows: Beamsville, Grimsby, Lincoln, Niagara Falls, Niagara on the Lake, Pelham, Port Colborne, St. Catharines, Thorold, Welland, Wainfleet, West Lincoln.
You will be required to pay the annual BIAN membership and YMCA Program access fee (as indicated above) and complete the YMCA application in order to be considered for membership and access for YMCA under the umbrella of BIAN. The professional Certification form for YMCA access must be completed and signed and stamped by one of the designated professionals.
Can I access the YMCA if I reside in Fort Erie?
For those individuals (19 and over) who have sustained an acquired brain injury and reside in the catchment area of Fort Erie (this includes Stevensville, Ridgeway, and Crystal Beach) and meet our eligibility requirements, you may apply to our association for consideration for access for the YMCA of Fort Erie only as a non-member of BIAN.
You will need to fill out an application for YMCA from Brain Injury Association of Niagara and the fee will be $30, and you will be required to have the professional certification form signed by one of the designated professionals. The fee is subject to renewal on an annual basis.
Who are the designated professionals that may sign the professional certification form for YCMA access?
The individual who has sustained an Acquired Brain Injury (19 years of age and over) must have one of the following complete, sign and stamp the Professional certification for YMCA form, by one of the following: family doctor (GP); Psychiatrist; Kinesiologist; Occupational Therapist; Professional Nurse; Speech and Language Therapist; Physiotherapist or Naturopath.
How often do I have to have the Professional Certification form completed in order to access the YMCA?
The Professional Certification form must be completed and stamped every 3 years by one of the designated professionals (as listed above). However, in the event there has been a change in your medical circumstances, you will be required to notify BIAN, in order that we can forward a new Professional Certification form for your designated professional to complete.
Can my children or spouse also attend the YMCA?
The YMCA access under the umbrella of Brain Injury association of Niagara (BIAN) is only for the survivor (participant) who has sustained an acquired brain injury, and meets our eligibility requirements.
What if I require a support person to accompany me to the YMCA – can I bring one of my children with me?
If the Professional who completed the Professional Certification form indicates that you (the survivor/participant) requires a support person at all times or on an occasional basis, then you may attend the YMCA with one of your adult children or spouse only . (The adult accompanying you, where required, must be over l8 years of age)
Can my adult child or spouse also access the pool, exercise equipment and walking track?
An adult may accompany you only if it is indicated on the Professional Certification form that you require a support person, and the support person must remain with you (the survivor/participant) at all times. If you are using the exercise equipment, the support person is not allowed to use the equipment and is only there as a support for you. If you are in the pool then they must be in the pool, or on the walking track with you at all times (as per signed Professional Certification form).
Can I bring my own personal Trainer as my Support Person?
The YMCA of Niagara does not permit outside Personal Trainers to train within YMCA facilities. Personal Training is a service the YMCA offers for a fee, however, any member is welcome to sign up for a free Personal Fitness Appointment where one of YMCAs Fitness Staff set them up on a program to help them reach their goals.
Does BIAN provide support staff to accompany a survivor (participant) to the YMCA and supervise them while there?
If you, the participant, require a support person (where needed as per the Professional certification form) with respect to accessing to YMCA facility and/or use of the exercise equipment, the pool or the walking track, you will need to ensure that provisions for an ADULT family member, or support worker are in place.
The support worker and/or ADULT family member will be required to SIGN in with IDENTIFICATION as a guest. If arrangements will be made via a family member, as a support person, please ensure that they are aware of the protocol, access & supervision requirements with respect to accompanying you (the participant) to the YMCA.
Are there other professionals who may accompany a survivor (participant) to the YMCA?
Rehabilitation Practitioners: If you (the participant) requires the assistance of a rehabilitation practitioner while accessing the YMCA, please note that there will be some new changes about how these practitioners can access the YMCA facility along with the participant. The following are identified as Rehabilitation Practitioners – all Regulated Health Care Practitioners, and individuals acting as a “Therapy Assistant” for a regulated Health Care Practitioners. The Regulated Health Care Practitioners must apply to work within the YMCA of Niagara facilities, provide proof of certification, insurance and purchase a day pass or a membership for themselves and/or their Therapy Assistant. They would be permitted to work with a member in the YMCA facilities for the sole purpose of rehabilitation as outlined in a rehabilitation plan.
Personal Support Workers and/or Informal Caregivers: The YMCA would permit any individual under a group membership that Brain Injury Association of Niagara identifies as needing a worker to access the YMCA at no charge with the member. These individuals are NOT permitted to work out themselves but can accompany and assist the member while they are in the YMCA of Niagara Facilities. These individuals CANNOT PRESCRIBE EXERCISE.
Can I upgrade my membership to a Plus Membership?
No, this is strictly a “Generic access for YMCA” with access for Pool, Exercise Equipment and/or Walking Track, subject to the professional Certification for YMCA access under the umbrella of BIAN, and other eligibility criteria as indicated in the application package provided by BIAN.
Do I have to show my Survivor card for YMCA access from Brain Injury Association of Niagara when I go to the YMCA every time?
YMCA requires that the participant MUST have a VALID BIAN survivor card for Access for the YMCA of Niagara (to be shown to YMCA staff at the time of check-in at the YMCA facility) with their name clearly indicated on the card. YMCA reserves the right to refuse admittance in the event the survivor DOES NOT have his or her card with them when accessing the facility, or if the card is EXPIRED.