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When Will Pool Lifts Be Enforced at Public Pools?

Posted August 26, 2013

When was the last time you saw a handicap pool lift?  My family travelled quite a bit this summer and stayed in half a dozen hotels.  Of those six hotels only one was equipped with a lift for ease of access to the pool.  Now what makes this observation most interesting is that the US Department of Justice gave a January 31, 2013 deadline for Installing Handicap Lifts in existing pools and spas.

This ruling to bring public pools into compliance has been extended several times, with the most recent deadline that of January 31, of this year.  The Department of Justice decided that all pools should have a fixed lift unless it was deemed impractical to have.  If the public swimming facility was unable to install a fixed lift a portable lift could be used.  For more information from the ADA site visit http://www.ada.gov/pools_2010.htm.

I wonder how it is that so many public entities are able to slide by without supplying the proper equipment to their patrons?  Is it simply because no one has made it a point to call the hotel on their lack of compliance? Or is it a ruling in text only that will never truly be enforced?  There is a reason the ADA exists; to bring equality to those who would otherwise be excluded from a given activity.  It is our duty to support those who require something as simple as a chair lift so that they might be able to swim along with everyone else.

As law abiding citizens I believe it is time we hold people accountable.  Whether the entity is a mulitnational corporation or a municipal swimming pool, every member of this nation should be able to use the facilities.

The installation of a pool chair lift will not break the bank.  In fact they seem quite affordable for any public entity posssessing a pool.  Bottom line, laws should not be ignored, especially when exclusion is the ultimate effect.

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