The ADA may be 22 years old, but travelers with disabilities still lack accessible swimming pool access, and disability rights organizations are fed up. The American Association of People with Disabilities has announced a national boycott against hotels represented by the American Hotel and Lodging Association and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association. “These industry groups are fighting tooth and nail to prevent Americans with disabilities from gaining access to their pools,” says Mark Perriello, CEO of AAPD.
In September 2010, the U.S. Dept. of Justice released new regulations mandating that owners of swimming pools, wading pools and spas provide mechanical lifts or sloped pool entries. The new regulations must be met by Jan. 31, 2013, but hotels have been slow to comply.
Kevin Maher, senior vice president of American Hotel and Lodging Association, disagrees that his organization is lax in encouraging pool access. “We are focused on educating our membership … and we’re making sure our members know what the requirements are,” said Maher. He added any solution must address guest safety.
When contacted for this story, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association had no comment. For more information on the boycott, visit www.adapt.org/main/adaattack.