Compliance deadline is January 31, 2013. Are You Ready?
Standards for Accessible Design
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. On September 15, 2010, the ADA Guidelines finalized on July 23, 2004 (ADAAG 2004) were signed into law and now require compliance by all Title II (Public Entities) and Title III (Public Accommodations and Commercial Entities) by March 15, 2012. This includes recreation facilities, swimming pools, wading pools and spas.
ADA regulations cover both public and private facilities including pools operated by public park and recreation districts, hotels and motels, fitness and recreational sports clubs, country clubs, high schools and universities, waterparks, hospitals and health care facilities. Regulations may also apply to private residential facilities, such as homeowners, apartment and condo associations, if these facilities are open to the general public.
Our research tells us that it is likely that no swimming pools will be “grandfathered” in
Safe Harbor Provisions
Elements that have not been altered on or after 18 months from the date of publication and are in compliance with technical and scoping specifications in either the 1991 standards or the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards of 2002 do not have to be altered. “Elements” is a generic term which can mean anything from a swimming pool to a jail.
However, the safe harbor provision does not apply to elements for which there were no technical specifications in the 1991 standards. Elements that could be affected include park areas, swimming pools, golf and mini-golf areas, dwelling units, exercise machines and equipment, fishing piers and platforms, recreational boating facilities and shooting ranges.
Swimming Pools with less than 300 lineal feet of pool wall must have either a sloped entry or a lift that can be operated by the user.
Swimming pools with more than 300 lineal feet of pool wall must have 2 means of access. The primary must be either a sloped entry or a lift, and the other can be transfer walls, a transfer system, or stairs. (See guidelines chart below)
Wave action, Lazy Rivers, or other pools that have one entry point must have either a sloped entry, lift or a transfer system. (See guidelines chart below)
Wading Pools must have a sloped entry.
Spas must have a lift, transfer walls or a transfer system. (See guidelines chart below)