Source: California Hotel & Lodging Association
Places of Lodging
U.S. Department of Justice implemented revised regulations that have impacted the hospitality industry. These regulations reference the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, which mandate a higher level of accessibility than the 1994 Standards, and which include a number of new elements and numerous changes to existing elements.
Examples of New Requirements for Alteration and New Construction
- Swimming pools require lifts or sloped entry.
- Saunas and steam rooms require accessible doors, turning space, and benches.
- Playgrounds require accessible routes and playground equipment.
- Accessible single user toilet rooms require more space for transfers.
- Exercise machines must be on an accessible route surrounded by clear floor space.
- The number of and dispersion of accessible guest rooms requiring mobility and communication features has changed.
- Assembly areas require dispersion of accessible seating with lines of sight over standing spectators.
- Washers and dryers, kitchens, and vending machines must be accessible.
Revised ADA Requirements
The 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design went into effect on March 15, 2012. By that date, all new construction, alterations and barrier removal must be in compliance with the 2010 Standards. Covered entities that should have complied with the 1991 Standards during any previous construction or alteration, but had not done so by March 15, 2012, must comply with the 2010 Standards. Elements in existing facilities that comply with the 1991 Standards as of March 15, 2012, are protected by a “safe harbor.” These elements will not need to be changed until they are altered. Public accommodations that have existing elements that are covered for the first time under the 2010 Standards (like pools) must make those elements accessible, to an extent that is readily achievable.
Swimming Pools, Wading Pools, and Spas
The Department of Justice extended the date for compliance for the requirements related to the provision of accessible entry and exit to existing swimming pools, wading pools, and spas to January 31, 2013. The 2010 Standards require that newly constructed or altered swimming pools, wading pools, and spas have an accessible way for people with disabilities to enter and exit the pool. The Standards also provide technical specifications for when a means of entry is accessible. If it is not readily achievable to install a fixed lift, installation may not be necessary. A business may use other means to achieve compliance, such as using a non-fixed lift.
Online Reservation Requirements for Places of Lodging
To ensure that people with disabilities are able to reserve specific accessible guest rooms that match their individual needs, the revised regulations require that places of lodging will have updated their existing reservations systems and have them in place by March 15, 2012.