Hotels Trying To Buy Time For Making Pools Accessible To The Disabled

Warmer weather is headed our way, and with the heat comes the desire to take a dip into a cool pool. But it’s not so easy for those with disabilities, which is why there’s a May 21 deadline for pools at hotels and recreation centers to be accessible. Some pool operators are pushing back against that mandate and asking for more time.

The L.A. Times says a new regulation requires hotels and rec centers that operate public pools and spas to install or order permanent lifts by May 21. Pool ramps can also satisfy the requirement, but they’re even more expensive than the $2,500-$6,500 the lifts cost to buy and install.

Advocates for disabled Americans and pool owners are at odds, with one side claiming better pool access is overdue, and owners trying to extend the deadline or have portable lifts fulfill the requirement.

Hotel owners say it’s not that they don’t want to improve pool access, it’s just that they need more time, or that the permanent lifts are expensive. And industry representatives say the lifts could be a safety hazard for kids who might want to play on them.

Many hotel owners support federal legislation that would allow pool operators to comply with portable lifts and delay implementing them for 12 months. Of the roughly 256,000 pools across the country that pool manufacturers estimate are under the regulation, only a small percentage of them are already equipped with lifts. Pool operators say they need that 12 months because of a backlog of orders for the permanent lifts.

While some hotel chains are working quickly to order and install the lifts, advocates for the disabled say the hotel industry has already had plenty of time to comply with the regulation.

“I think it needs to be abundantly clear that these rules need to be enforced,” said Lara Schwartz, vice president of external affairs for the American Assn. of People with Disabilities. “We can’t just kick this can down the road.”

Hotels with pools want to tweak new disabled-access rule [L.A. Times]

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  1. samonela says:

    Can’t a caregiver just tip a wheel chair forward and dump the person into the pool? Kinda like how one would tip a wheel barrow forward?

    (Yikes…i think my hell occupation potential just went up a little with that one)

  2. jayphat says:

    Just wait until some kid gets hurt on one of these things while around the pool and nearly dies. Honestly, has anyone ever even heard of a disabled person being denied access to a pool because they didn’t have one of these lifts? Sounds like nothing more than a money grab to me.

    • sirwired says:

      Errr… without the lift, how is the disabled person supposed to use the pool?

      When they say “denied access” they don’t mean that an employee grabbed a hold of the wheelchair handles and trundled somebody off; they mean that the disabled person is unable to use all the public accommodations of the hotel.

      And where is the “money-grab” part coming in? No fines have been issued, no lawsuits seeking damages have been filed…

      • voogru says:

        “Errr… without the lift, how is the disabled person supposed to use the pool?”

        How is a disabled purpose supposed to be able to go skydiving? All sky diving airplanes now need to be handicapped accessible.

        Some hotels/motels usually have some special equipment to help disabled persons, but it’s not permanently affixed to the pool.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          I believe the legal standard is for “reasonable accommodation”. A hotel amenity is considered reasonable, while skydiving is not.

          • voogru says:

            Swimming is not exactly reasonable accommodation for someone who is so disabled that they can’t even get into a pool without help, either.

            What if they put these lifts in, and then a disabled person drowns? Let me guess, the motel will get sued because they didn’t have a lifeguard on duty.

            There just won’t be as many pools. Hotels that have pools will have to charge higher prices, they will lose out to most of their competitors who can charge less because of no pools, and pools at these places will disappear eventually. Last I checked, disabled people can’t swim if there is no pool.

            • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

              If you feel strongly about it, I suspect Romney’s Attorney General will have a more pro-business interpretation than Holder does.

              • Dieflatermous says:

                Why don’t you just keep responding to every single comment to vote Romney? I don’t think you’ve commented enough.

            • sarahq says:

              “Swimming is not exactly reasonable accommodation for someone who is so disabled that they can’t even get into a pool without help, either.”

              Untrue. Many people with degenerative joint disease are unable to climb a pool ladder, but swimming is not only possible for them, but quite therapeutic (because the buoyancy reduces stress on the joints).

          • Doubting thomas says:

            a $7,000.00 dollar lift that will be used by less than 1% of your patrons and poses a safety risk to a larger portion is not a reasonable accommodation in my opinion. Add in the maintenance costs and the added liability insurance they will all have to pay when the first kid gets stuck under a lift and drowns and it gets even more unreasonable.

            • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

              The Obama administration disagrees. If you feel strongly about it, I highly suggest that you get in contact with your Congressman or contact the Department of Justice directly.

              It looks like this is an issue because hotels are considered public accommodations.

              http://www.ada.gov/ahla_letter_2_21.htm

          • CommonSense(ಠ_ಠ) says:

            that is not what reasonable mean.
            Reasonable is a subject term to describe the cost and complexity of the accomodating.
            If a court deems something to be cheap and easy enough it will say it is reasonable that it gets done for disabled accomodation.

            I was lifeguard for many years and even at disney world.
            I can tell you that I would not want one of these. If the person is too disabled to get in and out of the pool without this lift then they are too disabled to safely use the pool without putting their life in danger.
            Most of the pools with these lifts will not even have lifeguards.
            Sorry but the reasonable accomodation here is for a disabled person to have a helper person to help them use the pool safely not a lift that enables someone to dangerously enter the pool with no person there to help in an emergency.

            • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

              The Obama administration disagrees. http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/ADAregs2012/pools_2012_nprm_final.htm

              I really don’t have any skin in the game and could care less either way (I haven’t swam in a public (non-military) pool since 1985. If you strongly feel that this is an unreasonable burden on business, I recommend that you take it into consideration when going to the polls in November. I can virtually guarantee that Romney’s AG will have a significantly different opinion than Holder or Obama.

              • frodolives35 says:

                Because everything wrong ever has to be the Democrats problem and fault.
                This just in extra large bugs caused by the Democrats please remember this when you go to the polls.

              • somedaysomehow says:

                You are so clueless it’s laughable. There are people who cannot put weight on their knees or feet, who have injuries or chronic conditions. The pool is the BEST place to be for them to go and get low-impact exercise. These people can be excellent swimmers, have no problems staying afloat or swimming laps, but have trouble getting in, or especially out, of the pool.

                You know how I know? I have genetic knee problems. I get my exercise in a POOL. I’m an amazing swimmer. But when it’s time to get out of the pool, know how you suddenly feel like you’re much heavier? Yeah, it’s much harder when you have knee pain. When I no longer have youth on my side in 10 years or so, I may need a lift. I will STILL be an excellent swimmer, because how you get around while on land is not at all indicative of how you can get around when there’s much less impact on your joints.

                Buy a clue. It’ll cost you less in the long run than decades of prejudice and ableism.

      • voogru says:

        “And where is the “money-grab” part coming in? No fines have been issued, no lawsuits seeking damages have been filed…”

        Not yet.

        But tell that to a small mom-and-pop store that went out of business because a ‘disabled’ lawyer was able to bankrupt them because the condiments were an inch too high.

        • Kuri says:

          Ok, name an incident when that has happened. A link even.

          • Nate with shorter name says:

            Read up on saga of Jarek Molski, professional plaintif he filed for more than 400 cases.
            linky http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jarek_Molski
            This ass ruined peoples lives and put many small business owners out of business

            • jesusofcool says:

              This is one very good reason why I think small businesses with below a certain number of employees and net gross income should be exempt from ADA laws, as long as they can prove that complying would seriously jeopardize their ability to operate and they aren’t actively discriminating against people with disabilities. It’s not that I don’t think people with disabilities shouldn’t have their rights recognized, but laws like this do make it extremely hard for small businesses, which we as a country should be encouraging, to stay in business.

      • CommonSense(ಠ_ಠ) says:

        A disabled person can currently use any pool at the hotel.
        The problem is how disabled must we accomodate for pools.
        Do pools need to accomodate someone who cant use both their arms and legs???

        I can tell you this that disabled people use pubil pools without lifts all the time so this is very unreasonable accomodation.
        Also it will kill people as pools require very little maintenance while a lift (which has to be considered a life saving device) is more complex with electrical and hydraulic. When the lift breaks someone will die!!!
        If you require a lift to get in and out of a pool you are severly risking your life unless you have your own personal lifeguard to get you out in an emergency, but in that case your personal lifeguard can manually help you in and out of the pool so the lift would not be needed.

        • iesika says:

          I am calling troll. The lifts will kill people? Seriously? With three exclamation points, even!!!

        • Bonster says:

          Have you ever tried to manually help a wet adult in and out of a pool? It’s very difficult and really pretty scary. “Slippery when wet” doesn’t just apply to floors (and rock albums).

          • gman863 says:

            No, but I’m guessing it’s something like Greenpeace trying to shove a whale back into the ocean.

    • iesika says:

      If by “denied access to” you mean “being completely unable to use”, then yes. Frequently. I’m guessing you don’t have anyone in your life with severe mobility issues.

      There have been permanent lifts at every gym, school, or community center pool I’ve used in the last 10 years. As far as I know, no one’s ever been hurt on them. “Some kid might try to climb on it” is a terrible reason not to install anything. You might as well ban bookshelves, fences, tables, automobiles, trees, lightposts, streetsigns, handrails, mailboxes…(this could go on for a long time as I think of everything I’ve pulled my roommate’s son off of).

    • Conformist138 says:

      The public pool I go to twice a week has a permanent lift installed. Not one child (to my knowledge) has ever been injured. Lifeguards are always on duty and kids under a certain age must have a parent in the water with them at all times. It’s really beneficial for people with certain disabilities to do water exercises, but finding a pool with a lift can be difficult.

  3. IphtashuFitz says:

    Quick, we have to install 256,000 lifts all across the country in the next three weeks!

    Yeah, that’ll happen… There probably aren’t that many even in existence. Methinks a few companies are going to be extremely busy and making money hand over fist trying to crank all those lifts out. They’ll be backordered for years…

    • pot_roast says:

      … and really, they will be very very infrequently used. The costs of all of this will fall on the hotels for maintenance & installation.

      A place I worked at before had a nice gym with a hot tub, but laws (and a disabled employee complaining.. one that didn’t even use the gym) about requiring lifts got in the way, and they ended up removing the hot tub entirely because there was no way to add a hoyer lift without significant retrofits to the building. So we all lost out.

    • Arimer says:

      I don’t understand how they will be used. would a lift in water expose the water to electricity? Can people that need the lift even swim? Wouldn’t the lift also run off Hydraulics which could spill into the water?

      • IphtashuFitz says:

        Take a look at the linked article. There’s a photo of a man in a wheelchair using a hydraulic lift.

    • Skyhawk says:

      I’d love to see how much money the manufacturers of those devices ‘donated’ to politicians campaign funds.

  4. mattyb says:

    In the majority of cases I would think that if a disabled person couldn’t get themselves into the pool, then they probably don’t have much business swimming in the first place.

    • iesika says:

      …wow.

    • who? says:

      While I don’t believe you’re right even “in the majority of cases”, what about the minority of cases? There are, indeed, plenty of disabled people who are able to use a swimming pool successfully without drowning, once they’re actually in the pool.

      I suspect it might be cheaper to have an attendant on call to help out for the twice a year that a disabled person wants to use the pool at the Motel 6, but that’s not how we do things in this country apparently.

      • CommonSense(ಠ_ಠ) says:

        How do they get out in an emergency if the lift breaks?
        Also how do they get out not in an emergency if the lift breaks?

        A lifeguard is not ever going to assist in a nonemergency as that is against their training.
        Also what if there is no lifeguard like in most pools?

    • zumdish says:

      I’m reminded of a trailhead near here, where a narrow, rocky trail makes a dizzying steep descent down into a ravine… and in the tiny parking lot is, of course, a handicapped spot.

      • Cor Aquilonis says:

        Disability placards can be issued to people who are hearing impaired. Which means they’re disabled but also able to hike. But, nevertheless, you have a pretty good point…

  5. pixiegirl says:

    Not to sound dumb but how do people who can’t walk swim? I’m pretty sure I would sink if I did not use my legs to keep me floating.

    • Miss Malevolent says:

      Yeah that does sound dumb.

      • Conformist138 says:

        Be nice- at least they asked and potentially learned something new. I prefer an honest questioner to someone who simply states their ignorance as fact- “Hurr hurr, disabled people can’t swim so this is dum!”

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      Well, a lifejacket would work for one thing. I don’t float even though I can walk, but I can play in a pool with a lifejacket on, or be in the shallow end where I can walk on the bottom.

    • Tim says:

      In high school, a guy who couldn’t use his legs almost beat me in a swimming event.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i have occasional partial paralysis from my MS. i cannot walk when that happens. but i can float on my back and move myself around a pool with my arms. it also helps a LOT with the discomfort of the MS, and makes me feel better.
      also, having previously worked at disney and seen wheelchair accessible pools being used by hotel guests in wheelchairs that could go into the water, seeing a dad in the pool in his wheelchair, playing beach ball toss with his little girl for the first time in her life in the pool was very rewarding.

      • One-Eyed Jack says:

        I was at Disney World at the end of March and noticed the new lifts at the pools we visited. Many newly built pools have zero entry and won’t require a lift.

        • CommonSense(ಠ_ಠ) says:

          The zero entry pools have always been at disney as they cater to little kids and parents that want to put their lawn chairs right in the edge of the water.
          Zero entry pools are not practical for most pools that are built of olympic standards for swimming competitions. Those pools cannot have sloped entries.
          Also a sloped entry requires much more space.

          The best thing to do is the disabled person that has a helper who can get them in and out and save them if there is an emergency.
          relying on a lift to get you out of the pool is a very bad idea especially when there are no lifeguards.

    • Random Lurker says:

      I used to work as a swim therapy assistant for disabled kids at my local school district. They have a center just for severely disabled kids. Cerebral palsy, spina bifida, kids born without arms or legs, etc. All of them got in the pool with our help. It was brilliant for them, since while floating they actually have more control over themselves then they do on land.

      I’ll be fair though, and say I don’t like this regulation. The number of these kids that can swim without supervision is extremely small, and putting a lift into a pool that’s not designed for creates all kinds of hazards. Plus, ramps are better for access anyway.

    • iesika says:

      Then you’re doing it wrong.

    • sarahq says:

      Just because you can’t climb down a pool ladder doesn’t mean you can’t walk or can’t swim. A degenerative joint condition (RA, Ehlers-Danlos, etc.) or old age could keep you from having the stability/strength to climb a ladder, but you can swim (thanks to the buoyancy of the water).

  6. chicagojim says:

    Yep, this made us close our pool at our hotel permanently. Not worth the cost. Thanks big government!

  7. miguelggarcia says:

    I’m wondering how many places will prefer to close their pools instead of installing that equipment.

  8. Craige says:

    I’m a little torn on this issue. While I agree that these pools should have accommodations, it baffles me how anybody values these lifts at $6,500.

    Having seen first hand how expensive equipment is for the disabled, I find it frustrating to see these products are marked up this high.

    Those lifts are definitely may be WORTH $6,500 (ie, to the right people), but there is no way they cost anywhere near that to plan, manufacture, and distribute.

    • human_shield says:

      They used to be $500, but after this law passed, they strangely went up to $7,000…must be a typical market fluctuation…yeah!

    • human_shield says:

      They used to be $500, but after this law passed, they strangely went up to $7,000…must be a typical market fluctuation…yeah!

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      It’s called making a profit. Supply and Demand. How many people make these things? Not many, therefore short supply. Was your econ class pass/fail or what?

  9. voogru says:

    The end result of this legislation will be, fewer pools. No hotel/motel is going to take on the liability.

    How does a disabled person use a pool, if it’s not even there?

    The whole ADA was passed for the benefit of trial lawyers. It actually hurts the disabled, a customer of mine once hired a disabled programmer (paralyzed from waist down), he was an excellent programmer so his disability didn’t reduce his productivity. During the economic downturn, he had to lay off several employees, including the disabled one.

    What happened? The disabled guy sued for discrimination, it was going to cost so much money that they just settled. Legalized extortion.

    He will never hire another disabled person ever again, as a result of that. It’s not worth the liability.

    • Talmonis says:

      Corporations won’t hire any disabled person for any reason if we got rid of the ADA. Not to mention, they will immediately fire all of them upon it’s destruction, to save future costs. They will do this, because it’s in their best ($) interest to do so. So I’m hoping you’re fine with a mass influx of permanently unemployed disabled people of all ages going permanently onto the Social Security and medicare/medicaid rolls.

      Reasonable accomidation is too subjective however. The addition of lifts to swimming pools is far too costly to be reasonable for such a rare possibility of a disabled swimmer. Perhaps a small metal ramp that can be attached to the side and dropped down into the pool when a wheelchair bound person wishes to float a bit.

      • voogru says:

        That’s nonsense, because employment among disabled people was HIGHER before the ADA.

        Go do your damn homework and come back.

        • jimbo831 says:

          I assume you have a source for this information and didn’t just make it up? In that case, would you care to share you source?

      • voogru says:

        Businesses are LESS likely to gamble hiring a disabled person because of liability, especially small businesses where a lawsuit can bankrupt the business.

        You might be able to get a job at wal-mart, but try getting a job at a small business. It’s another story.

        This happens with all discrimination laws, it actually results in more discrimination because it’s more of a liability to hire a minority than someone who’s not in a protected class.

        And people wonder why unemployment among minorities is higher.

        • Talmonis says:

          Why yes, of course. Why oh why did we enact civil rights laws? Surely the southern business owners would have just been oh so happy to hire “them thar blacks” back in the day. It was all the guv’mint’s fault that they were a load of racist douchebags, and still permeate the area to this day. Nothing could ever go wrong if you suddenly let them back off their racist leashes again right? Oh, and those same people tend to also hate the disabled, jews, “brown” foreigners, people of asian descent and of course, anyone of a religion not their own, but they’d never act out at those people if there were no laws preventing it. Neeever.

          • Bsamm09 says:

            Yes, if the laws were reversed, every non white male in the south would be without a job instantly. I know this as I work with a lot of businesses and talk to many at chamber (klan) meetings. Thanks for spilling the beans.

      • tinmanx says:

        Have you ever attended a job fair with a disabled person? I’ve only experienced this once, but this particular wheelchair bound person was a snotty, rude, line skipper. He ignores all lines to speak with company reps and goes right to the desk, they are all nice to him since he’s disabled. And while going around the fair he yells at other attendees to get out of his way, instead of saying “excuse me” like the rest of us. In general, he acted like he owned the place. I saw the expressions on some of the company reps afterwards and I’m positive they will not consider this person.

        My theory is this disabled person is a product of the ADA. He’s come to expect everyone to accommodate and bend to his will because of his disability. It’s just the wrong attitude to have. Reasonable accommodation is one thing, causing hardship (or just plain pissing people off) is another.

        However, for this story, I totally side with the disabled. Spending $6500 on a pool to make it accessible is reasonable accommodation if it’s a hotel or a business that makes money one way or another off the pool. If you consider the cost of installing the pool in the first place verse the $6500 lift, it’s a fraction of the cost. Bob’s backyard pool is a totally different story.

        • Kuri says:

          No, that disabled person is not a “product” of the ADA, he was a douchebag long before it.

        • jimbo831 says:

          Wow, you are an idiot. You have had one experience with one person, and you instantly assumes that all disabled people are like that and it is all because of the ADA? I have seen a lot of non disabled douchebags at the job fairs I’ve been to. And you know, that one black guy robbed a store, so I assume that means all black guys rob stores, right?

        • Bonster says:

          You know that about 70% of adults with disabilities are unemployed or marginally employed, right? Most of whom want to work and are capable of working. Those who have jobs are very often underemployed, restricted to entry-level positions and frequently denied promotions on very shaky ground. People with disabilities are much more likely to be living in poverty than people without disabilities. The ADA was a fantastic step forward, but until people’s attitudes change, there will not be parity.

          Also, are you seriously passing judgement on disabled people and the ADA because you ran into one jerk?

      • CommonSense(ಠ_ಠ) says:

        1. a company is not forced to hire disabled because of the ADA. Companies do not hire people all the time based on all the protected classes, the issue is you cannot prove why a company did not hire you and they will not tell you why.
        2. If you are in a wheel chair, the only jobs you can get in the manufacturing and service are ones that are not multi-tasked. The only jobs that can do reasonable accomodation for wheelchairs are those that do not have physical work or have segregated/limit job roles or office work. Most jobs are multi-tasked so a wheel chair person might be able to do even 75% of it, but not 100% of the job. The ADA does not force companies to hire you.
        Alot of companies it is a constant ongoing issue just to make work ergonomically safe for able-bodied workers when they solve those problems first they can start on accomodating disabilities safely in the work place for climbing strairs, ladders, using step platforms, reaching into equipment, moving your body into wierd angles to inspect and setup equipment, driving forklifts, climbing over equipment and materials, picking up 50 pounds from the floor and putting it into a machine, moving around a restaraunt kitching and being able to reach everything.
        Just put it this way, if you are in a wheel chair you need to get a college degree to get an office job or teaching job so you can be reasonably accomodated.

        The companies that can hire people in wheel chairs as it wont interfer with the job will not just up and fire workers because they are disabled. You are stupid if you believe this. No one fires good workers.

        The only good thing for ADA is set standards for public places and business to have wheel chair accessibility. Besides that it just messes things up for everyone and causes a bunch of frivioulus lawsuits.

  10. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    How about instead of an expensive lift (that’s bound to break down all the time) hotels are required to have special floats for the disabled? Ya know, like they have for kids. Go from wheelchair to float and voila! Accessible pool. You’d probably only need a few of them per hotel and I guaran-f-ing-tee you they’d be much cheaper.

    • Craige says:

      And how about getting in and out of the pool/float? That’s the purpose the lift serves.

    • Eyeheartpie says:

      How do you get from the wheelchair to the float without submerging the wheelchair?

      • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

        Dammit, Jim! I’m a %$#!!@$ puppet, not an engineer!

  11. unpolloloco says:

    So….hotels can’t order lifts because they’re all backordered. Why would it be unreasonable to extend the deadline a bit?

    • gttim says:

      They have had since 2010 to do this. It was the Americans With Disabilities Act in 2010 that made the requirement. Everybody waits till the last minute and then cries.

      • jayphat says:

        It was also not made clear until recently that portable lifts would not satisfy the requirement.

      • jayphat says:

        It was also not made clear until recently that portable lifts would not satisfy the requirement.

  12. kataisa says:

    Another example of how the few can ruin the fun for the many. I’ve never seen anybody in a wheelchair at the pool or the beach and for good reason: if you’re ‘disabled’ then you can’t move well enough to swim. Duh.

    Beware the tyranny of the minority.

    • rockingrandma says:

      My disabled husband would disagree with you. So would all the kids he went to cripple camp with.

      • voogru says:

        Oh yes, I’m absolutely sure that disabled people think this is a wonderful idea.

        I also learned the other that that people who receive free money from the government also think it’s wonderful.

        They can’t figure out that this just means fewer pools, and higher prices at resorts that do have pools.

        • rockingrandma says:

          Whoops, I meant to disagree with the statement that if you are disabled you can’t move well enough to swim. My husband thinks this whole thing is a load of crap. I have to agree.

    • Craige says:

      Just because YOU never see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I’m sure YOU never see disabled people doing things, doesn’t mean they sit at home, shut away from the world.

    • who? says:

      You clearly don’t have any friends or relatives who are in wheelchairs.

    • Coelacanth says:

      Oh, I didn’t recognize you, Ms. Rand!

  13. DarkPsion says:

    I still remember when my dad had to lower all the fire extinguishers at city hall 3/4 of an inch because someone in a wheelchair might have trouble getting them to put out a fire.

    At the college I work at it is even worse, all the handicapped stalls now have two coat hangers because ADA decided that the one on the door needed to be 2 inches lower and since no one wanted visible holes in the door, we couldn’t remove the current ones.

    And we may have to gut and redo some of the oldest bathrooms. To make the changes they want to the handicapped stalls, the regular stalls would be to narrow for most people to use.

    We also had to power wash off the handicapped parking at one facility because the concrete had an angle to it and wasn’t perfectly level.

    We had to lower all our water fountains to “wheelchair” height just because one was not working when they did the inspection. They said there needed to be a back up so students in wheelchairs would not have to go elsewhere if one was broken. It is funny watching a 6 foot 5 basketball player try to get a drink of water from one of those.

    • voogru says:

      Don’t forget.

      Round door knobs are illegal, and a very very large fine.

      • who? says:

        I had a friend who was a quadriplegic. The guy lived completely independently with a few relatively cheap adaptations, like the doorknob thing, or having to bring his own cup to restaurants, because he needed a cup with a handle on it. He lived alone, drove his own car, and had a full time job as an engineer. Life was fine, mostly. But then he’d get stuck in a bathroom in some office building for 2 hours waiting for someone to come in to let him out, because someone thought it was too expensive to replace the doorknobs with something that was easier to use.

    • who? says:

      I think even the 6’5″ basketball player would agree, it’s especially funny watching someone in a wheelchair trying to get a drink from a fountain that’s at standing height.

    • DrLumen says:

      Agreed. There was so much crap that came out of the ADA it is unbelievable. The one that always gets me is the required braille signage on a drive through ATM. Initially the Bush (Sr) cronies said the passing of the act would not cost much at all to make facilities ADA compliant. However, the act was so badly written and open to so many interpretations that the requirements, implementations and costs went absolutely crazy.

      Don’t get me wrong, when it is feasible and can be put in place for new construction then by all means do it. As far as ramps or lifts for pools then that should be something left to the marketplace. If motel chain x installs pool ramps or lifts and chain y doesn’t then I guess the disabled may want to patronize chain x or not swim.

      I too see this as like the a bunches of handicap parking spaces that are rarely used. Which reminds me, it is a law that you can’t park in a handicap parking place without the proper papers but there is no law that says handicap persons have to use them. I have seen handicap people use non-handicap parking spaces because the first handicap space was taken. The law says equal access not preferential access.

      Ok, the soapbox has fulfilled it purpose for the day…

      • Mr Grey says:

        Regarding the Braille signage/numbers at ATMs.
        The numbers have braille because its cheaper to produce 1 model of keypad than 2 models.

  14. DrPizza says:

    In related news, companies offering mountain climbing excursions are now required to have wheel chair ramps in place to the top of the mountain by July 4, just in time for the holiday season.

    I have no problem with the A.D.A. – new construction should be required to accommodate people with disabilities. However, to require existing construction to change is foolish.

    • voogru says:

      “I have no problem with the A.D.A.”

      You haven’t done enough homework on it. Go do a little more research and maybe you can figure out why this bill was really passed.

      Hint: It’s not to benefit disabled people.

      Remember, the Congress does not represent the average american.

  15. Eaglekeeper says:

    Rules like this sound good in the beginning, but then someone in congress has a family member or friend who manufactures a required product. In this case, look in the background of this laws push and you will probably find a buisness relationship.

    I have no desire to prevent disabled people from enjoying a pool, but the cost should be balanced. Instead of a mandated date, why not implement the law for new pools and those undergoing major renovations?

  16. CommonSense(ಠ_ಠ) says:

    Wow, this is a very bad idea.
    A pool has very little maintenance.
    A lift has to have a lot of maintenance that can get complex with eletrical, hydraulic, cables, chains, etc.
    What happens when your lift gets stuck at a pool with no lifeguard.

    This law will cause people to die.
    Also I seem a lot of hotels just closing their pools instead of investing more money into a lift that will just end up breaking.

    • voogru says:

      Exactly.

      They decided it’s better that there be no pools for anyone if disabled people can’t use them.

      • dolemite says:

        That’s kind of what sucks about being disabled….you don’t get to do the things other people get to do. What next? Robotic exoskeletons mandated for walking trails?

    • pot_roast says:

      exactly. I already saw this happen at a place I worked. We all lost the hot tub because it would have been prohibitively expensive to install a lift.. in the gym.. for the maybe 2 wheelchair bound employees.
      But the ADA knows no common sense anymore and is frequently abused by unscrupulous attorneys.

  17. moonjest says:

    This feels like one of those rules that should have been enforced for recreation centers and community pools (especially those that are subsidized with a property or sales tax) and new (or newly remodeled) pools in hotels, but allowed old pools to be grandfathered in, especially if portable lifts are available.

    This law seems quite burdensome on hotels since hotel pools are mostly used by families w/ kids. Most hotel pools are too small, shallow, and/or oddly shaped for serious swimming.

  18. GoldVRod says:

    Attention pool attendants – Don’t forget to say “This oil bath is going to feel so good!” when you’re lowing them in.

  19. eezy-peezy says:

    Hmmmm… I wonder if the lift manufacturers have a lobbyist in DC…..

  20. HowardRoarksTSquare says:

    Fill the pool full of cement and then tell everyone that complains that that’s hope & change

    • Talmonis says:

      Or wall the pool off, add security guards and require a credit check and minimum bank balance for entry. Then tell everyone that complains that they’re too lazy to be allowed into the pool.

      Or for bonus points, add a barbed wire fence and a sign that says “No blacks, jews, gays or disabled allowed. Buy Gold! For Freedom!” Then ask anyone who complains why they hate Freedom and want the government to kill puppies.

  21. Talmonis says:

    As the husband of a wonderful disabled woman (different disability), and a far left liberal, I would like to ask the ADA to PLEASE bugger off on this. This is the sort of unreasonable crap that gets Republicans elected. Reasonable accomidation is key, and you’re clearly not following it. The far right will use this as an excuse to get rid of the ADA, which will result in mass firings of the disabled, and a permanent blacklisting with the loss of protected status.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      The ADA is a bill, not a government agency. You need to direct your anger towards Obama and Eric Holder.

    • MrEvil says:

      Actually unemployment among the disabled is much higher than the rest of the population since passage of the ADA. Employers actively avoid employing disabled individuals because they become a huge liability to the company as any lawsuit is essentially a guaranteed settlement for the plaintiff if not a victory in court. Disabled people aren’t being fired as a result of the ADA, they’re not being hired in the first place.

      • Talmonis says:

        And you think they’ll be more inclined to hire afterwards? Hell no. They’ll get rid of all the people they DID hire. HR’s now look for any reason they can come up with to disqualify you from employment, and if disabled loses it’s protected status, that’s what will happen. For instance, my wife can’t drive due to her disability, but can and does work, as I drive her there every day. If she were to apply for a new job in a large corporation? No chance if the figure out that she’s disabled. Even the possibility of not having a stable source of transportation (regardless of how reliable) will disqualify a person in the eyes of a corporate machine.

  22. Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

    I get that handicapped accessibility is important but I really can’t see the practicality for power lifts in pools. All I can think of are ramps and waterproof wheelchairs into the pool? I really haven’t seen anyone in a wheelchair go into a pool though.

  23. dush says:

    They aren’t actually allowing wheelchairs in the pools are they?

  24. Sad Sam says:

    I generally agree with the purposes of the ADA, but the ADA access chapter is absolutely a boon for the lawyers because the ADA provides for attorneys fees. So law firms and professional ADA plaintiffs, testers, and there are many, 1/3 of the lawsuits filed in the Southern District of Florida on a daily basis are ADA access cases. Years ago these cases were directed to hotels and department stores and large corporations but they have run out of defendants, although many business owners are sued for ADA access more than once, and they have moved on to small businesses.

    Should new construction be required to comply with the ADA, absolutely. And should public buildings and buildings or significant access, i.e. a national chain hotel, be required to retrofit over time, I say yes as well. But should small mom and pop business be required to take out major debt to retrofit a historic or older building? I say no.

  25. Kuri says:

    Hmm, it does seem a little, odd to ask them to install a lift. I mean, can’t two employees just as easily help the person into the water?

    And I guess it depends, I mean, if they put a gate around the lift to keep kids off of it…

  26. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    WTF is so hard about this? Haven’t they ever seen a rolling engine hoist? It definitely should be portable. Who the hell would want that thing in the pool if no one’s using it?

    1) Rolling hoist of some kind
    2) Some kind of flotation device for the disabled
    3) Hotel staff/life guard trained to lower/lift disabled into/out of the pool

    There’s no f-ing way something like this should cost $2,500 to $6,500 each.

    • Kuri says:

      You know, that actually seems like a good idea, just fit it with a sort of sling or something for the person to sit in.

    • Kuri says:

      Hell, at a thrift store I saw this sort of, medical hoist thing that would work too.

  27. CalicoGal says:

    There was a really good episode of Penn & Teller’s “Bullshit” about the ADA.

    • DFManno says:

      Yeah, because a couple of stage magicians are the go-to experts on law and disability.

  28. Kuri says:

    Will add that I love how some seem to have a sort of “if you’re disabled you should be at home staring at a wall” attitude.

  29. Kuri says:

    Ok, I just looked at the linked article and saw a picture of the lift. How is this unreasonable again? From the looks of it it takes up VERY little room and the person who needs it can operate it by themselves.

    From the way people were acting I was imagining something similar to what goes into a retrofitted van.

  30. Sweet Revenge says:

    I’m short and most hotels I’ve ever stayed at have the peepholes too high for me to see out of. I demand that every hotel add a lower peephole so that I am not denied the ability to safely see who is knocking on my door. Maybe a peephole manufacturer would like to lobby congress on my behalf…

  31. yosemitemtb says:

    Easy solution? Close the pools. Then nobody gets to enjoy them. That’s fair for everyone, right?

    • quail says:

      Was going to say the same thing. Do you know how many motels have closed their pools, filled them in with concrete even, just to save on the insurance cost alone?

  32. RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

    Hey, I run an ATM network, and changes to the ADA required costly upgrades to every ATM in America. The deadline was ridiculous, also only a year, and many banks didn’t make it. But, despite repeated requests, the government would not extend the deadline. Manufacturing of the parts needed was backlogged, the government didn’t care.

    So I will really be annoyed if the pool compliance date gets put out, after what I just went through!

  33. Galium says:

    So where are the pool lifts going to be located for use on the Pacific ocean? The state needs to be fair and make sure all the handicapped people can use the Pacific to float in. So in fairness they should have a handicap ocean lift every mile along the coast just in case someone that is handicaped might wish to swim. There are going to be a lot of Bob’s in the California pools this year. Stupid law in a stupid state.

  34. Jeff asks: "WTF could you possibly have been thinking? says:

    If it wasn’t for pool therapy I could not walk today.

    • Jeff asks: "WTF could you possibly have been thinking? says:

      I should clarify: A lift made it possible for me to do 0% weight-bearing therapy and regain the use of my legs after a car accident.

  35. bricko says:

    The hotels Ive talked to have NEVER used the ones they do have in over 15 years….so pi// on them. Drive the wheelchair to the edge and topple over…..

  36. maxamus2 says:

    I live in a tourist area that literally has hundreds of hotels along the beach. They are all freaking out as many of these hotels have 3 to 6 pools each (including lazy rivers and smaller pools). Every single one of these will REQUIRE it’s own permanent lift, they can’t just use a portable one to service them all.

    This truly is crazy regulations. So long as they have a lift they can move to a pool, why REQUIRE permanent?

  37. quieterhue says:

    Why are they requiring hotels to get permanent lifts? Wouldn’t a portable one do the trick? I think that would actually be safer because then they can be put away when not in use and they wouldn’t be a hazard for kids.

  38. TuxMan says:

    “We can’t just kick this can down the road.”

    Apparently not.

  39. DragonThermo says:

    This is an example of the “tyranny of the Disabled”! The conflict is not that there should not be disabled access to public pools but whether it should be permanent or portable. There is no logical, reasonable reason why a portable rig would not suffice. There are plenty of logical, reasonable reasons why requiring a permanent rig is unreasonable.

    Either way, the equipment will need to be maintained and staff will need to be trained on how to use it properly.

    The problem with permanent installations is 1) the higher expense compared to portable, 2) safety of guests — wait until some kid runs into or trips or hits their head on a permanent rig and then ambulance chasing trial lawyers will have a field day, and 3) they are UGLY.

    We need to get the government our of our lives. The current occupiers of the White House and Congress need to be gotten rid of before they turn us into another Eurozone failure like France, Spain, Portugal, England, Germany, and Greece.