Ahead of the upcoming March 15 compliance deadline, the Department
of Justice has issued an interpretation of the Americans with
Disabilities Act revised 2010 standards that shoots down many
facilities’ compliance plans involving portable lifts.
evaluate options to present concerns to the DOJ.
Several manufacturers and organizations are coming together to
The DOJ ruled that Title III facilities (including hotels, motels
nonprofits, swim clubs and other such facilities) may use portable
lifts that meet the 2010 standards if a fixed lift is not
“readily achievable.” For Title II (municipal)
facilities, the DOJ said sharing a portable lift between multiple
pools is not permitted unless it would result in undue burdens to
provide equipment at each one. The DOJ has said in the past proving
undue burden will be difficult. Further, the DOJ said portable
lifts must be available and operable during all hours that the pool
is open to the public.
Many operators were hoping to share portable lifts among multiple
pools and store them away when not in use.
“The big issue for all of us is leaving the lift out all of
the time,” he said. “Our fear as an industry, and the
fear of the people in the hotel industry, is that the lifts are
going to become an unintended play hazard," said John Caden,
accessibility specialist at S.R. Smith in Canby, Ore.
According to experts, the DOJ is making an effort to mandate that
pool operators adhere to the spirit of the law. But some have
raised concerns, and stakeholders are meeting to discuss
Ultimately, given the wide variance in designs and facility use,
there is no single formula that will ensure access to everyone at
every facility, Caden noted.
His company, along with other manufacturers and representatives
from entities including theAmerican Hotel & Lodging Association, the >Association of Pool and Spa
Professionals, the World Waterpark Association, and the National Recreation and Park
Association, will be collaborating on a response to the
To view the DOJ’s recently published clarifications, click
For more information from S.R. Smith on the pool lift