Last Thursday, the Department of Justice declared a major alteration in disability regulations for public swimming pools and spas. According to the recently changed rules, portable lifts are now allowed, and the call for compliance with these rules has been considerably relaxed.

For swim clubs, hotels, and other commercial public facilities, a fixed-lift policy was being enacted, with the exception that portable lifts purchased prior to March 15th would be considered compliant. According to the new policies stated by the Department of Justice, the fixed-lift policy will not be enforced. That said, lifts purchased after March 15th must be fixed “if it is readily achievable to do so.”

In this case “readily achievable” means “without an excess in difficulty or expenditure.” As stated by the DOJ, “This is a flexible, case-by-case analysis, with the goal of ensuring that ADA requirements are not unduly burdensome, including to small businesses.”

In the case of municipal pools, not every pool needs to be accessible, unless there is only one pool, in which case it must be made accessible.

The new regulations were issued May 24th, following an extension of the deadline for compliance. The new closing date is January 31st, 2013.

(Source: Pool and Spa News)