ADA Compliancy Toward Accommodating Blind & Low Vision Guests

By Kathleen Pohlid Founder & Managing Member, Pohlid, PLLC | July 17, 2011

Co-authored by Soy Williams, AIA, President, Soy Williams Consulting

Hotel establishments that do not evaluate and prepare their facilities to accommodate persons with visual disabilities are making a mistake. The number of persons with visual impairments and disabilities is likely to grow dramatically. This poses significant implications for the hotel industry.

According to some estimates, the number of older Americans in the United States is projected to increase by 135% between years 2000 and 2050. Historically, 1 person out of 25 was over the age of 65 at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1989, that number increased to 1 in 8. By 2030, 1 out of every 5 people in the U.S. is projected to be over the age of 65.

Since a significant portion of visual impairments is age related, these statistics confirm the number of people in the United States with vision loss (approximately 25 million) is rising dramatically. As the number of seniors increase, so does their desire for leisure travel and retirement vacations. This means that hotels and resorts will likely experience an increase in the number of guests who are blind or have low vision.

Hotel establishments have good business reasons to accommodate guests with vision impairment since they are part of a growing customer base. Avoiding legal pitfalls should also be a good incentive to initiating proactive measures to accommodate these guests and address their concerns.

Americans with Disabilities Act

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