Ads 468x60px

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Advocates for People with Permanent Disability Fight over Hotel Pool Access

In a recent effort, advocates of permanent disability rights group have recently unveiled plans to boycott some of the nation’s leading hotels due to their delaying tactics over the enforcement of federal guidelines that require the installation of permanent wheelchair lifts that would allow disabled guests to access the swimming pools.

Said guidelines had been actually set forth in 2010, but last January, the U.S. Department of Justice made a few revisions requiring hotels to install pool lifts that are permanently installed right next to a pool until  March 15. However, said due date was subsequently moved to May 21 and eventually until January 31, 2013. 

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) believed that hotel owners had a lot of time to install the amended permanent pool lifts to give easier access to disabled guests but failed to do so.

Aside from the AAPD, other permanent disability group advocates like the National Council on Independent Living, ADAPT and the National Disability Rights Network (NRDN) is calling supporters to avoid booking meetings, conventions, or leisure stays at hotels that are not observing the provided guidelines.

The main targets of the boycott include hotels that are represented among the executive leadership of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), one of the world’s largest lobbying associations. Several large hoteliers named are Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, Fitzpatrick Hotel Group, and the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.

On the other hand, the trade association has claimed that installing permanent lifts would impose undue cost upon smaller hotels. Allegedly, the equipment costs between $2500 and $6,500 per pool. Said estimated amount is just for the equipment alone. Maintenance, education of employees and higher insurance premiums are not yet included to the amount. The AHLA also affirmed that a permanent pool lift could increase the risk of injury due to misuse by children in unattended pools.

Disability group advocates said that it would be already insulting for the coalition if the hotel owners ask for further extensions of the due date. Meanwhile, hotel owners claimed that they still remained willing to work with the disability rights coalition to come up with an effective solution which would benefit them both.

Therefore, a Los Angeles permanent disability lawyer said that although things are obviously getting more complicated these days, he believes that both parties will overcome said misunderstanding once they meet halfway.