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ADA compliance date for swimming lifts delayed

By Remco Zwetsloot
Dolan Media Newswires

New accessibility compliance requirements for swimming pool lifts under the Americans with Disabilities Act have been delayed until Jan. 31, 2013, the Justice Department has announced.

The requirements affect lifts that transport people from their wheelchairs into the water. The rules distinguish between large pools, which must have two points of entry, and small pools, which only need one. Some types of pools, such as wave pools, are exempt from the requirements.

“People with disabilities should have the opportunity to participate in American society as fully and equally as those without disabilities,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division in a statement.

Most other provisions of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design went into effect on March 15. The requirements affect state and local government buildings, public accommodations and commercial facilities such as hotels and restaurants.

The rules for pool lifts were delayed after some of those affected by the rules, including hotel owners, expressed confusion about the requirements and talked of closing their pools for fear that they could not comply on time. For instance, some hoteliers stated in comments to the Justice Department that they were unsure of the type of lifts required or whether their establishments were exempt from some of the requirements.

The Justice Department originally granted a 60-day extension to comply with the new rules.

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