Compliance with Pool/Spa Accessibility Requirements Necessary

The January 31, 2013, deadline for pool and spa accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is approaching and AH&LA is urging members to review their compliance needs.

AH&LA has worked exhaustively to secure a one year extension and clarification of the January 31, 2012, Department of Justice (DOJ) Guidance. In May 2012, DOJ granted a one year extension to January 31, 2013, and issued two guidance documents related to its interpretation of the requirements for pool and spa accessibility in the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design.

According to the current DOJ guidance, by January 31, 2013, all existing pools and spas at lodging facilities must do the following if it is “readily achievable”:

  • Provide at least one means of entry (pool lift or slopped entry) as long it is readily achievable.  Pools with 300 linear feet of wall or more must have a pool lift or entry, and one additional means of entry which can be one of the following:  (1) pool lift; (2) sloped entry; (3) transfer system; (4) transfer wall; or (5) pool stairs.
  • Have the pool lift out in position and ready for use all hours the pool is open.
  • Each body of water (e.g., pools, spas) must have a separate means of entry (there are special rules for clusters of spas).
  • Pool lifts must be attached to the pool deck or apron in some manner unless it is not readily achievable to affix them.

For detailed explanation of the “Questions and Answers:  Accessibility Requirements for Existing Swimming Pools at Hotels and Other Public Accommodations” visit AH&LA’s Website.

AH&LA has raised significant concerns with the current guidance and will continue to work for resolutions of these issues. We will continue to keep you apprised of developments.