ADA May Force Pool Closures
Owners and operators of public pools are weighing tough options.
They can install an access method, such as a mechanical lift, on every pool they operate, close the pool voluntarily or face governmental investigation and possible legal threats.
Law & Industry Daily
Friday, March 16, 2012
WASHINGTON, March 16 (LID) – The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday announced it was delaying for 60 days enforcement of a new law that requires public pools to be accessible to disabled individuals.
The Justice Department, in a statement, conceded there were "misunderstandings" about provisions of the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design relating to public swimming pools.
"Requirements for existing swimming pools will be extended for 60 days," the DOJ said. "The department will also publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with a 15-day comment period on a possible six-month extension in order to allow additional time to address misunderstandings regarding compliance with these ADA requirements."
Aimed at bringing public pools in compliance with federal disability access requirements, the rule requires pool owners to install ramps and wheelchair lifts or else face lawsuits.
The requirement was announced in 2010, in regulations stemming from the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).
"The requirements for newly constructed and existing pools will ensure that, going forward, people with disabilities can enjoy the same activities—a community swim meet; private swim lessons; a hotel pool—at the same locations and with the same independence, ease, and convenience as everyone else," the DOJ said.
The 2010 Standards for Accessible Design were published in the Federal Register on Sept. 15, 2010 (FR DOC # 2010-21824).
Source: Law & Industry Daily (http://s.tt/17v6n)