Sadly, too many people take their mobility for granted. It’s only natural to not fully appreciate that which has never been lost. As a result, those individuals who have never been in a wheelchair cannot begin to comprehend the absolute necessity of such a basic principle as wheelchair access. If you are an individual with impaired mobility, however, the reality of such obstacles is a fairly routine occurrence.
Over the two decades since the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law, society has become a bit more aware of the discrimination that exists for people with disabilities. Many municipalities and builders now recognize and honor the parameters that must be met to grant equal access to all. That being said, there are still many unique areas where wheelchair access is not given proper consideration.
Who would guess that a common area to find such noncompliance is in fact on vacation? Family trips provide some of the most vivid memories we share with our loved ones. Of those memories, who doesn’t reminisce and reflect fondly on the evenings spent splashing about in the pool or relaxing in the hot tub after a day of sightseeing? Yet, these areas all too frequently prove inaccessible for those in a wheelchair.
Thankfully the disabled access rule is there to protect these precious memories for all, but there are numerous locations to consider. According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, there are approximately 51,000 hotels in America. Most of these have a pool area for their guests, but many of them do not offer accessibility to the pool itself, even though the latest accessibility laws require a lift be present so guests with disabilities can access the pool. In fact, hotels that do not have such equipment can be fined up to $55,000.
Most previously-built hotels are earnestly working to come into compliance with the new law; some have even chosen to close their pools until they can add the required device. Hotels under new construction are expected to plan and accommodate for the lift prior to opening their doors.
The sheer volume of hotels across our nation can make enforcement of ADA laws difficult, which is why it is so imperative that if you or someone you know has been the victim of such discrimination, you contact us so we may assist you in righting the wrong for all.