Is Your Pool or Water Feature ADA Compliant?

By Clara Rose President & Creative Director, Creative Alliance | June 03, 2012

The March 2012 deadline for the new ADA regulations came and went; most compliance changes were accepted as necessary and reasonable. The exception seems to have been the changes for water features, which launched a massive response in the industry.

As the deadline approached, the uproar of the hospitality industry over the water feature lift requirements prompted the Department of Justice to grant a 60 day extension for compliance on that particular regulation. Additionally they published a notice of proposed rulemaking with a 15-day comment period on the possibility of a longer extension to allow time to address misunderstandings regarding compliance with the new requirements.

Despite an outcry from the ADA community stating that facilities have already had two years to come into compliance; the Department of justice said:

"After carefully considering all of these factors, including the unique burden that an additional postponement would impose on individuals with disabilities, the department has concluded that a further extension of the compliance date is warranted."

The good news is - properties are not expected to become ADA compliant overnight; rather, they are encouraged to evaluate their facilities and create long-term plans for barrier removal and compliance.

The mission and purpose of the Americans with Disabilities Act is to ensure that those guests with different abilities have equal access to the same options as other guests; this includes the water features at a place of public accommodations. The goal of the Department of Justice is to ensure that everyone - regardless of their different abilities - has an equal opportunity to enjoy services and facilities… not to cause distress or hardship to businesses.

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