Overview on the Department of Justices Guidance Dated January 31, 2012 Regarding 2010 ADA Standards for Pool Accessibility
On January 31, 2012, the Department of Justice issued guidance intending to clarify requirements regarding accessible pools and their means of entry and exit. It is recommended that all parties involved with ADA Lift implementation read the full report and/or the five-page document in its entirety (http://www.ada.gov/pools_2010.htm). Below, we have highlighted portions of the document pertaining to pool lifts.
The 2010 Standards establish two categories of pools: large pools with more than 300 linear feet of pool wall and smaller pools with less than 300 linear feet of wall. Large pools must have two accessible means of entry; smaller pools are required to have one accessible means of entry.
Title II Facilities Program Accessibility
Title II applies to state and local government programs, services, or activities and requires
that these entities have program accessibility.
Title III Readily Achievable Barrier Removal
Title III requires places of public accommodation to remove physical barriers in existing pools to the extent that it is readily achievable. Readily Achievable is defined as easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense."
Maintenance of Accessible Features and Staff Training
Accessible pool features must be maintained in operable, working condition whenever the pool is open. A portable pool lift may be stored when the pool is closed but it must be poolside and fully operable during open pool hours. Equipment may require staff support and maintenance and facilities should plan accordingly. Ongoing staff training is essential to ensure that accessible equipment and facilities are available whenever a pool is open. Staff training should include instruction on what accessible features are available, how to operate and maintain them, and any necessary safety considerations.
Spectrum Aquatics Portable Lifts
There is still debate on the DOJs interpretations of the Standards, particularly as it applies to fixed versus portable lifts. Ultimately, it is up to each individual facility to determine what is readily achievable for them when it comes to the removal of barriers (i.e., whether a fixed lift is required or a portable lift is acceptable). We recommend facilities check with the DOJ and their state and local code for site-specific recommendations.
In light of the new DOJ guidance, Spectrum Aquatics has engineered several solutions for affixing portable lifts to the deck. If youve purchased a portable lift from Spectrum Aquatics in the past, please contact us for a conversion kit.
If further questions on the Standards arise, please visit www.compliantpools.com or call us at 800.791.8056. In addition, the following organizations provide information on the Standards:
American Hotels & Lodging Association - www.ahla.com/government/
Department of Justice - www.ada.gov//
2010 Standards for Accessible Design - www.ada.gov/2010ADAstandards_index.htm
Revised ADA Requirements: Accessible Pools - Means of Entry and Exit - www.ada.gov/pools_2010.htm
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