New ADA Compliance on Reservations Services
By Soy Williams President, Soy Williams Consulting, Inc. | July 03, 2011
The ADA has significantly improved the quality of guest rooms with features that are intended for guests with disabilities. The inventory of guest rooms that are designated "accessible" have also increased over time. As these improvements were being made over the past two decades, more and more individuals withe disabilities have joined the ranks of the traveling public whether it be for business or pleasure.
Challenges still remain in matching accessible rooms with guests with disabilities. The new ADA requirements for reservations services should come as no surprise to the lodging industry that has received a fare share of scrutiny from people with disabilities as well as the U.S. Department of Justice (the "DOJ").
The DOJ continues to receive may complaints concerning failed reservations. Most complaints involve individuals who, having reserved an accessible guest room, arrive at the place of lodging only to discover that the room they reserved is either not available or is not accessible. In response the DOJ has revised the ADA regulations to include new requirements for hotel reservations services.
Important Compliance Deadline
These new requirements become mandatory on March 15, 2012. By now each and every hotel, timeshare, condo-hotel and other lodging entities that are subject to the ADA should be more than half-way through evaluating and putting into place reservations systems that comply with these new requirements.
Five New Requirements