New ADA Rules Leave Some Scrambling
March 14, 2012
As a new round of accessibility requirements take effect this week, some businesses are struggling to comply.
The new regulations are part of a 2010 update to the Americans with
Disabilities Act. Businesses were given until this year to adhere to
many of the added requirements.
Starting Thursday, rules will be in place for the first time ever
mandating that public swimming pools, parks, golf courses, exercise
clubs and other recreational facilities be accessible. Hotel reservation
systems also must meet new standards.
However, some businesses appear to be having difficulty meeting the requirements in time. USA Today reports that a number of hotels are considering closing their swimming pools and whirlpools because they don’t yet include lifts.
In response a hospitality industry trade group — the American Hotel
& Lodging Association — has asked the Justice Department to delay
implementation of the new rules arguing that they are vague, but federal
officials have not budged thus far.
In addition to the new regulations regarding recreational facilities,
the ADA update also included changes to building requirements, new
standards for wheelchairs and clarified what qualifies as a service
animal. Many of these rules took effect last year.
The updates mark the first major overhaul of the ADA since it was enacted more than two decades ago.