The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been life changing for people with disabilities since its inception in 1990.
As you may already know, the main act was put into place as a way to prohibit discrimination of people with disabilities, but since its creation the ADA has expanded to include everything from employment opportunities to creating standards for accessible design.
One of these accessibility changes consisted of a compliance change for hotels, workout facilities, and spas.
The Pool/Spa Accessibility Requirement
In a revision to the Standards for Accessible Design, that passed in 2010, a requirement for all existing pools and spas was issued.
This requirement mandated that all pools at lodging facilities have at least one accessible means of entry (via lift or sloped entry), have this option available during all pool hours, and additional requirements for safety be met in the event that a pool lift is installed.
Hotels, fitness centers, and spas with pools had an initial deadline of January 31, 2012, to make this required change. However, the Department of Justice granted a one-year extension, with the final deadline being January 31, 2013. At which point, all newly built pools/spas, and all pre-existing ones should be ADA compliant.
Finding Accessible Pools
As we’re nearing the winter months and end of 2014, all pools located in facilities that fall under this criteria should be ADA compliant. This means, that any hotel, spa, or fitness center with a pool that you call should have a lift or sloped entry method available for accessible use.
But, if you want to make sure the facility you’ll be visiting is compliant, you should be able to call the local front desk number for that hotel to make sure it’s accessible. And, some hotels are making it even much simpler than that!
One great example is the Hilton. From the Hilton’s website, you can find a nearby hotel (or one located in an area to which you will be traveling), find out if the pool is indoor or outdoor, and even get information about the pool’s accessibility.
What do accessible pools mean for you and your family? Have you been able to find an accessible pool to use at a local hotel or spa? Comment below to let us know about your experience!
(image via MDA.org)