In 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a proposed rule that would require hotels with pools and other pools open to the public to provide lifts or sloped entries to make the pools accessible to people who use wheelchairs or have other mobility disabilities. The rule was set to go into effect on March 15, 2012, giving these pool owners two years to install pool lifts. Instead of urging their members to comply with the rules and provide access, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH&LA) and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) launched a campaign to overturn the access requirement and weaken the ADA.
The hotel industry has used many excuses to avoid installing pool lifts, including:
* Installing pool lifts are too expensive;
* Fixed pool lifts are unsafe for other guests and their children;
* People with disabilities don’t go to hotels; and
* People with disabilities will make pools unsanitary.
They said actually we’d poop in their pools! Seriously.
The Disability Community has attempted to work with these hotel associations to resolve this issue, but the hotel associations have made it clear that they will keep fighting the requirement to install fixed pool lifts.
This attack on the ADA isn’t just an assault on our right to access pools. It lays the groundwork for other groups to seek exemptions from making their programs, services and facilities accessible. This is an attack on the entire Disability Community. Ultimately, we could not just lose our access rights, but other rights under the ADA, including our right to live in the most integrated setting as affirmed by the Olmstead decision.
TAKE ACTION NOW so that the hotel industry, including the AH&LA and the AAHOA, understands we won’t let them continue to discriminate against people with disabilities and will not let them weaken our civil rights protections!