Time is Running Out to get a Pool Lift

Time is Running Out to get a Pool Lift

Ever since the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, was signed into law by George H. W. Bush in 1990, accessibility requirements for various settings have gotten stricter so those with disabilities can enjoy the same services the general public can. Among these settings are spa and swimming pool areas.

While pools certainly are enjoyable, they also are a means of rehabilitation and exercise, especially for disabled individuals. Originally, there were no ADA guidelines highlighting accessibility requirements for them.

In 2004, the Department of Justice, or DOJ, issued guidelines and accessibility standards for pools and spas. However, it took until 2010 to revise the regulations and make final rules for public and private industry pools and spas.

The rules for ADA compliant lifts and entry points in pools and spas took effect in March 2011 and the deadline for compliance was originally set to March of this year. However, there was a substantial amount of misunderstandings and so the DOJ extended the deadline to September 17 of this year.

Despite postponing the compliance date, a number of organizations and businesses still were in a panic and scrambled to purchase the right equipment. In May, the DOJ set January 31, 2013 as the final deadline for compliance.

The Rules

According to Title III (Private Industry), pools located at places of recreation and places of lodging must have compliant means of entry. Entry methods include pool lifts, sloped entries, and transfer systems.

Pools with 300 or more linear feet of pool wall must have two accessible points of entry. It is recommended that the points of entry are different and in separate locations in the pool. Pools with less than 300 linear feet of pool wall must have one accessible point of entry.

There are other requirements that must be met including those pertaining to the lift location and size of seat. Seats must be at least 16 inches wide and seats with backs are recommended. Pool lifts must be placed where the water level is no greater than 48 inches. Additional requirements can be found online.

Contrary to the popular belief that portable lifts are in compliance with the regulations, portable lifts do not comply with the regulations. According to the pool lift laws, lifts must be built in to the pool or located in a fixed place.

Benefits for Travelers

Because this blog focuses on traveling, it must be noted that this law means a lot for disabled travelers. They will be able to safely and comfortably access pools and spas at hotels across the nation. There will be no worrying about how to get in or out,  no feeling like a burden to family or hotel staff, and no need to feel left out of the aquatic activities.

Must You Adhere to the Guidelines?

Compliance is not required if pool lifts and accommodations are not available or if the purchase of a pool lift would cause financial hardship on a facility. However, because there are various options for compliant pool lifts that fit most budgets, it is very difficult to be excluded from complying with the regulations. Tax credits are available for some smaller, eligible employers who are concerned about the costs.


This post was provided by Corporate Office Interiors, a supplier of office furniture Lansing, Michigan. They carry new and used office furniture for all budgets and purposes.