Recently a woman who uses a wheelchair contacted me, because she would like to start swimming in one of my facilities to train for a triathlon. After she contacted me, I quickly set out to to ensure my staff was trained on the proper use of the lift at the facility she wished to swim. The lift at this facility had not been used since I began working at the University in August of 2009, and although I knew how to use the lift, I had never actually used it. It is a standard Hoyer lift. After some investigation, I found that our lift is not ADA compliant, and is most likely over 30 years old. I quickly became uncomfortable with the thought of using this outdated lift, and being that I am technically the director of aquatics AND safety, I brought it to the attention of my supervisors. I also found out what kind of lift I would need to be compliant, got three quotes from suppliers and found the money in my budget for the lift. I was told today that we were going to "wait on this" for what looks like 2-4 years. I find this to be an unacceptable answer, but I'd like to know how others feel about it. Do I need to comply? Is not spending $5,000 worth the risk of someone being injured or embarrassed by the awkward lift?
Thank you for reading this. I will admit I do not have a lot of experience working with accessibility issues, but I would like my facilities to be accessible to the widest range of people possible as well as comply with regulations and standards.