AH&LA Secures Compromise on Pool Lift Requirement

  • American Hotel & Lodging Association
  • 03.16.12
The White House issued a 60-day extension that will push the compliance date for the pool lift requirement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to May 15, 2012.

DOJ will also publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with a 15-day comment period on a possible six-month extension in order to allow additional time to address misunderstandings regarding compliance with these ADA requirements.

This major shift in response is a direct result of work by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), dedicated hoteliers repeatedly contacting members of Congress seeking redress, and the industry’s collective strength displayed during AH&LA’s 2012 Legislative Action Summit.

“Guest service and accommodation have always been priorities for the lodging industry,” said President/CEO Joe McInerney. “Hoteliers have worked with governmental agencies and advocacy groups for decades to ensure accessible accommodations are available for travelers with disabilities. AH&LA is encouraged that we were able to find a solution that took our implementation concerns into account, while still being able to fully serve our disabled guests.”
AH&LA built a Congressional bi-partisan group of over 120 Senators and Representatives that reached out to the Department of Justice on behalf of the lodging industry. This led to AH&LA working with the White House to find a reasonable solution to serve the needs of disabled guests and the lodging industry. (Congressional letters available upon request).

The pool lift requirement created a major concern for hoteliers when the Department of Justice issued a guidance Jan. 31, 2012, that changed the pool entry requirement originally defined in the 2010 ADA Standards. The January guidance stated that portable lifts complying with all stated requirements would not be acceptable unless a fixed lift was not readily achievable, which meant that virtually all properties would need to install a permanently fixed lift by March 15, 2012.   With only six weeks before the deadline, compliance would be impossible due to the difficulties in installing fixed lifts and their availability.  Click here for a timeline and background on the ADA Pool Lift issue.

While AH&LA has sought a common-sense solution to the pool lift issue, it must be stressed that the lodging industry is extremely supportive of the numerous other provisions of the ADA that take effect today. Hoteliers are committed to complying with Americans with Disabilities Act and serving the needs of the disability community.

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