The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) governs all aspects of the rules and regulations that govern public design work. The latest change to the ADA regulations governing title II and III (government and commercial facilities and public accommodations) were adopted into the Federal Register on September 15, 2010. It has been decades since the original enactment of ADA laws, and these updated regulations seek to address many of the issues and questions that have arisen since then. Incorporating the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design is a major goal of the new rules. Pool ADA Access & Certification is an important part for any commercial or residential property to acknowledge. Lack of pool & spa handicap access can subject your company or private property to thousands of dollars in fines if left un-certified by a certified access specialist.
General Pool & Spa ADA Access Overview
The original point of the Americans with Disabilities Act remains unchanged: To ensure that disabled individuals have all of the same opportunities as others. In order to help entities covered by title II and title III of the ADA understand their obligations, this document clarifies some of the responsibilities laid out for building new swimming pools or retrofitting existing ones.
Recreational facilities like swimming pools have long been some of the places where disabled people faced their greatest challenges in gaining access. Swimming pool design was finally addressed when the 2010 Standards were revised. The 2010 Standards now provide full guidance on building accessible swimming pools, wading pools, and spas. All pools constructed or altered after the adoption of the Standards have to comply with their requirements. Publically-accessible pools which don’t already comply with the 2010 Standards will need to be altered to bring them in line with the new regulations. The entities operating these pools, be they governmental or commercial, have an obligation to make the changes required to bring existing pools into compliance with the new standards.
By bringing new and existing facilities in line with the revised 2010 Standards, it will be easier for disabled individuals to enjoy the same range of pool activities available to others in the future, be they swim meets, swimming lessons, or hotel pools.
In the 2010 Standards, pools are divided into two categories based on their size. Pools with less than 300 linear feet of pool wall are characterized as small; all other pools are classified as large. Large pools need to have two accessible entry points, and one of these needs to be a sloped entry or a pool lift. Small pools require only one accessible means of entry, but it must be one of the two same types.
There are a few specialized types of pools excepted from the new requirements. These include wave pools, sand-bottom pools, lazy rivers, single spas in larger groups, and other types of single-entry pools. Further details can be found in the 2010 Standards in sections 242 and 1009.