If your meeting property has a pool or spa, add this to your site inspection checklist: accessibility. January 31 is the deadline for hotels and resorts to make their pools and spa facilities compliant with new Americans with Disabilities Act regulations.
Places of public accommodation (including hotels and resorts) received a one-year extension from the original January 31, 2012, deadline to make their pools accessible and now must, if it is “readily achievable,” provide a pool lift or sloped entry that help people with disabilities to enter and exit the water. Larger pools—with 300 linear feet or more of wall—must have a two accessible means of entry. The Department of Justice has ruled that pool lifts must be fixed in place rather than portable (unless not readily achievable) and should not be shared between pools. The lift must be ready for use any time the pool is open.
The American Hotel & Lodging Association has published an analysis of the DOJ’s guidance documents related to the new regulations.