Last night, AH&LA filed letters with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder seeking restoration of common sense interpretation of pool and spa entry requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued an overly burdensome interpretation of the pool entry requirements, forcing many lodging operators to scramble to meet the March 15 implementation deadline for pool lifts. DOJ noted that all pools and most spas will need an affixed lift to be made available any hours the pool is open to the public. Operators who have purchased a portable lift under an earlier understanding of the 2010 ADA Standards will need to replace these lifts or find a method of affixing them to the pool deck.
AH&LA also provided copies of our letter to Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Tom Perez and the Commissioners of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Mr. Perez is the chief enforcement official for the ADA, while the CPSC oversees product safety concerns in public commerce.
Pointing out the obvious attractive nuisance nature of a pool lift that is required to be affixed to a pool deck at all times the pool or spa is open to the public, AH&LA urges the CPSC to weigh in on the risks to children and others. Members of AH&LA are concerned over potential injuries to children who will play on lifts thus creating a liability nightmare for many operators.
AH&LA continues to call on its members to contact Congressional offices to urge they weigh in on this important issue. The industry message to Congress is:
Extend the March 15 Compliance deadline which will leave many operators in technical violation of Federal law and thus open to litigation and fines;
DOJ needs to approve portable lifts that will allow operators to quickly provide access to pools for travelers with disabilities while safeguarding children and costly lift equipment.
For more information, please contact Kevin Maher, AH&LA senior vice president for Governmental Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 289-3147.