ADA: Time to Get Cracking

Scott Webb Headshot

Scott WebbWell, we passed the ADA compliance deadline at the end of last month.

Most people in the industry are at least dimly aware that the Department of Justice is preparing to enforce Americans with Disabilities Act rules for public pools. The Act was passed way back in 1990, more than 20 years ago, and it has rumbled on through the years, encompassing ever more industries and employing an ever growing legion of implementers.

In 2004, the DOJ started setting requirements for the pool industry, and in 2010, started setting deadlines. These were extended to provide more opportunity for pools to install the required equipment, but the final deadline is now behind us.

So where are we? Based on VGB experience and simple dead reckoning, I’d set the over/under for compliance at something like 50 percent — roughly half of all affected pools currently adhering to the provisions of the mandate.

Nobody knows what the real figure is. Might be more, might be less, but eventually, it will have to be close to 100 percent. So if you have an affected public pool, and you haven’t already upgraded for disabled access, it’s time to get cracking.

You know what you have to do: Measure your perimeter. If it’s greater than 300 feet, do this, less than 300, do that. (Specifics are clearly spelled out at and lots of other places online.)

Many will be thinking really hard about that “readily achievable” bailout clause. On a case-by-case basis, if you can show that installing these accommodations is not “readily achievable” due to lack of resources or some impracticability, you get a pass, for the time being. My guess is that clause will get a thorough workout in the next couple of years.

Scott Webb

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