Thursday, July 19th, 2012
Hotel pools that don’t accommodate kids and adults with disabilities: I told you about that brouhaha back in May. Only a small percentage of hotels around the country comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which means having fixed wheelchair lifts or accessible ramps. The deadline for compliance got pushed to January 2013—meaning yet another summer when people with disabilities would miss out on using the pool. It seemed so wrong, not to mention law-defying.
This week, a coalition of disability rights groups announced a national boycott of hotels that lack a fixed wheelchair lift. They’re also asking supporters to avoid giving business to hotels that have attempted to delay implementation of the ADA. ”Twenty-two years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, it’s disappointing to see the so-called ‘hospitality industry’ fight so hard to prevent its implementation,” said Mark Perriello, president and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities, quoted in the Seattle Post Intelligencer column Boomer Consumer.
As you make plans for summer vacation, it’s worth asking the staffer taking your reservation whether the hotel has a pool—and a fixed pool lift. Then make your booking decision, suggests the coalition, based on the answer you get.
Max doesn’t use a wheelchair, but you can bet I will be asking these two questions as I book rooms in the future. I won’t visit a hotel that doesn’t fully welcome people with disabilities, enabling them to enjoy the same amenities that other guests do. I would shun any type of business that did the same.
It’s hard for me to know how I’d act if I didn’t have a child with disabilities; I’d like to think that I’d behave the same, refusing to give business to a non-inclusive hotel. I’d like to think families that don’t have children with special needs will also join in.
Now that you know about this, I hope you’ll keep it in mind.
Image of wheelchair by pool via Shutterstock
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