Overview: Meeting the March 15, 2012 Deadline on ADA Compliance

By Soy Williams President, Soy Williams Consulting, Inc. | January 08, 2012

It's hard to believe a year and a half has passed since the new Americans with Disabilities Act regulations were published by the U.S. Department of Justice. The deadline to comply with many new requirements have come and gone, and in two months all requirements become mandatory. The new regulations include general as well as specific provisions for lodging establishments and facilities. Read on for a list of policies, practices and procedures that should be part of every day operations along with a summary of capital improvements that might be necessary for continued ADA compliance.

By now ADA compliance should be integral to your lodging establishment daily operations as well as milestone facility upgrade or renovation projects. After all it was 22 years ago this July that ADA was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.

Since the Department of Justice made significant changes to the law's implementing regulations (or "rules"), many new requirements became mandatory last spring. In a couple of months, two remaining components must be in place. These are changes to the reservations system and facility modifications to recreation facilities.
Following a brief overview of effective dates of certain key requirements below are further discussion and lists that may be used to quickly assess whether or not these requirements have been incorporated into your lodging establishment policies, practices and procedures as well as capital improvement projects.

Compliance Dates - Overview

Compliance with many new requirements became mandatory on different dates during the past 18 or so months, starting with the publication of the new rules.

September 15, 2010

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.