WASHINGTON (May 22, 2012) — The U.S. Department of Justice issued its final rule on the compliance deadline for the ADA Standard for existing pools and spas. The deadline has been extended to January 31, 2013. The Rule can be found here.
Under the new accessibility-related building standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), commonly referred to as the 2010 Standards, hotels, inns, and other public accommodations with pools, spas, or wading pools must make them accessible.
The DOJ’s position on pool lifts is as follows:
- The mandatory date for installation of pool lifts is January 31, 2013.
- The specific technical provisions of the 2010 Standards governing swimming pool lifts are set out in Section 1009.2 of the 2010 Standards.
- Pool lifts need to be installed at each pool during all operating times and be independently operable by disabled persons.
- Pool lifts must be “fixed” unless the operator can prove that doing so would not be “readily achievable” as defined in the ADA—in which event, a portable lift meeting all of the ADA Guidelines could be deployed.
- Accessible lifts cannot be shared between a pool and a spa, each would seem to require a separate device.
- Pool lifts must be properly maintained and in good repair, with any battery components charged for use.
- Staff must be trained in the use and safety of pool lifts.
Portable lifts are allowed if a resort does not have the funds at this time to install a permanent lift.
Much of the industry may already comply with the requirements of the ADA, but ARDA is encouraging its member companies to begin their due diligence in terms of complying with the January 31, 2013, deadline.