Deion Lewis is a multi-sport coach at Southeast High School (Oklahoma City, Okla.) so he is used to adapting to different circumstances. That includes field conditions, crowds, length of travel and just about any other considerations. The one thing he can’t control is the thing that is most essential to his job: Getting access to his players as they compete.
As reported by Oklahoma NBC affiliate KFOR, Lewis, who coaches the Southeast girls basketball, football and soccer teams as an amputee, has launched a full-fledged crusade against all state schools and facilities that are not ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible.
The most recent culprit in his crosshairs is Harrah (Okla.) High School, where he was forced to coach the Southeast girls basketball team in a playoff game from the stands because he could not move down to the level of the subterranean court.
“I was on the second level coaching, behind the bench, yelling down to the coaches and the players instructions,” Lewis told KFOR. “Whether it’s somebody in a wheelchair or not. What if the coach had broken his leg and couldn’t get down the stairs. How do you not accommodate people like that?”
It’s a viable question, and one without an obvious answer. The one thing that does seem both reasonable and possible is for the Oklahoma Secondary School Athletic Association (OSSAA) to ensure that all playoff games are competed at gyms that are ADA accessible.
“Even if you don`t want to be ADA compliant and you want to be grandfathered in,” Lewis told KFOR, “don’t host a playoff game.”