Making Your Guest Rooms ADA Compliant

By Kathleen Pohlid Founder & Managing Member, Pohlid, PLLC | February 13, 2011

Now is the time for hotel and lodging facilities to evaluate their facilities to ensure guest rooms are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. There are two important reasons to do so:

  • First, facilities that want to qualify for safe harbor exceptions to the new 2010 ADA standards must ensure compliance with the 1991 standards before March 15, 2012. Otherwise, the 2010 standards apply.

  • Second, recent Department of Justice action indicates greater scrutiny on hotel accessibility. Facilities should be alert to these enforcement actions and ensure their guest rooms are ADA compliant, otherwise they may face litigation by DOJ or individuals claiming denial of access.

Moreover, the requirements for ADA compliant guest rooms have changed and may affect planned alterations or construction.

Compliance Options

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.