“This is the only ocean pool, not only in La Jolla but on the West Coast, that’s been accessible for the disabled,” said RAMP spokesperson Cheri Jacobs Aspen. She added, “It’s a cruel joke that they’re constructing new ADA-accessible showers at the Children’s Pool lifeguard tower — when there’s no ramp to get the disabled down to the showers.”
Jacobs Aspen said she began a petition drive May 8 in an attempt to get the CCC to direct that Children’s Pool’s new lifeguard tower, now under construction, have its ramp leading down to the beach upgraded to current ADA standards.
Disabled rights advocates say manmade Children’s Pool had a serviceable disabled ramp as early as the 1940s, built to accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, the elderly and toddlers, until it fell into disrepair in recent times.
Herself disabled, Jacobs Aspen insists that making Children’s Pool truly ADA-accessible once again would “put San Diego on the ADA map of the world.”
Jacobs Aspen said she’s gotten about 260 signatures counted toward her ultimate goal of 1,000. She intends to present her petition to create an ADA-accessible Children’s Pool ramp to the Coastal Commission at its August meeting in San Diego.
Children’s Pool was created as a safe wading pool for children by La Jolla philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps in the 1930s. The pool is good for the disabled for many of the same reasons it’s good for children, including its being sheltered from turbulent wave action.
Jacobs Aspen noted the disabled community is an underserved minority with the same need as everyone else to access the pool.
“We have 16,000 new limbless American Veterans, the most here in the military town of San Diego, that could heal in the waters of the Children's Pool,” she said. “An ADA ramp fits well there and needs to be included in the current Children's Pool beach facility remodel.
“We need this ADA access now, to serve the many disabled, including children, Wounded Warriors and the elderly. It is the only one we have, and it must stay open all year long with an ADA ramp.”