Providing an equal degree of opportunity for those with disabilities makes up the basic foundation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The publication is meant to assist entities within both title II and title III understand how any new requirements for the likes of swimming pools – particularly those that have already been established – will apply to them.
On September 15, 2010, the Dept. of Justice published a revised version of the final regulations for the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (more commonly known as the acronym ADA) for title II, which covers government services on a state and local basis, as well as title III, which covers public accommodations as well as commercial facilities. The regulations were published to the Federal Register. The rules and requirements contained within essentially highlighted and redefined many of the issues that have come to light over the past two decades or so. The result was a newer, updated set of requirements for the ADA, as well as the 2010 Standards, which covers the Standards for Accessible Design. Consider hiring a commercial ada certification company to review your property for lack of handicap access.
For far too long, people who suffer from disabilities were often excluded in being able to participate in recreational activities such as swimming. The revisions made in the 2010 Standards did a lot to turn that around. These standards made sure that, for the first time ever, there were universal requirements in place to ensure that swimming pools, spas, and even wading pools would be equally accessible even to the disabled. Any newly constructed or renovated pools absolutely must fall in line with those requirements verbatim.
“Public entities and accommodations alike also have new obligations pertaining to their previously built pools.”
The 2010 Standards categorize two different types of pools. These are 1) large pools comprised of more than 300 feet of linear wall, and 2) any pool that happens to be smaller. Large pools require two separate means of entry, and at least one has to have a sloped entry or pool lift. Smaller pools can get by with only one accessible entry point, as long as it is indeed sloped or installed with a lift. There are several more aspects to the full ADA CASp Access requirements laid out in the Standards, and those can be found in sections 242 and 1009.
The ADA.GOV states – “242.1 General. Swimming pools, wading pools, and spas shall comply with 242. 242.2 Swimming Pools. At least two accessible means of entry shall be provided for swimming pools. Accessible means of entry shall be swimming pool lifts complying with 1009.2; sloped entries complying with 1009.3; transfer walls complying with 1009.4; transfer systems complying with 1009.5; and pool stairs complying with 1009.6. At least one accessible means of entry provided shall comply with 1009.2 or 1009.3. EXCEPTIONS: 1. Where a swimming pool has less than 300 linear feet (91 m) of swimming pool wall, no more than one accessible means of entry shall be required provided that the accessible means of entry is a swimming pool lift complying with 1009.2 or sloped entry complying with 1009.3. 2. Wave action pools, leisure rivers, sand bottom pools, and other pools where user access is limited to one area shall not be required to provide more than one accessible means of entry provided that the accessible means of entry is a swimming pool lift complying with 1009.2, a sloped entry complying with 1009.3, or a transfer system complying with 1009.5. 3. Catch pools shall not be required to provide an accessible means of entry provided that the catch pool edge is on an accessible route.”
Hiring a copy who is licensed to fulfill ADA/CASp services is a good way to start any risk mitigation associated with your public pools or water features.
“242.3 Wading Pools. At least one accessible means of entry shall be provided for wading pools. Accessible means of entry shall comply with sloped entries complying with 1009.3.
242.4 Spas. At least one accessible means of entry shall be provided for spas. Accessible means of entry shall comply with swimming pool lifts complying with1009.2; transfer walls complying with 1009.4; or transfer systems complying with 1009.5. EXCEPTION: Where spas are provided in a cluster, no more than 5 percent, but no fewer than one, spa in each cluster shall be required to comply with 242.4.”