Public Comment

Changes to YMCA Warm Pool are Bad for Disabled Users

By Lorie Brillinger
Wednesday January 19, 2011 - 08:00:00 AM

The people taking the arthritis water classes at the Berkeley "Y" have been unpleasantly surprised by an error made in restoring the "Shallow Pool". All 3 pools are being given new water purification systems, and new tiling, etc. The pool we were using was out of commission for 3 months., so although were using Grace's Pool for our classes, we were glad on Jan.3, 2011 to get back to the pool we had been using before. Our classes are three times/week, and many of us had been attending these classes for 2 or more years.  


We discovered right away that the railing we used to help us get into the pool was not the railing we had before! In fact, it had replaced a device that had 2 rails, which is much more helpful for those people with severe arthritis or other disabilities. When we brought this to the attention of Jodie, the head of water activities, we were told that the "Y" management was aware of this error, and they were sorry that it had occurred. However, now another Permit to change the incorrect railing will have to be approved by the City, and most likely the cost will be increased. Also, it may be May or June before the job is completed. This is not good for community relations!

Some of us in the class think that having a Senior and/or Disabled member of the "Y" on the Board would be a useful and democratic addition to the present Board. We wanted the City Council to know that this was happening in Berkeley. The class is between 12 and 18 people, and many in the group are on welfare.