Means of Entry and Exit
On May 2 and May 9, 2012, the Department of Justice presented two free webinars addressing the accessible pool entry requirements of the revised 2010 ADA Regulations and the 2010 Standards as they relate to existing pools. The first webinar provided information and technical assistance on these provisions as they apply to the existing pools of public accommodations subject to title III of the ADA and the second webinar addressed the application of the pool access provisions to the existing pools of state and local governmental entities subject to title II of the ADA.
On September 15, 2010, the Department of Justice published final rules that revised the regulations implementing titles II and III of the ADA. As part of the revisions, the Department adopted the 2010 Standards and required that the Standards be used when modifications are undertaken to existing facilities to meet the program accessibility obligations of title II entities and the barrier removal obligations of title III entities. The 2010 Standards include provisions for accessible means of entry to swimming pools, wading pools, and spas in sections 242 and 1009. The effective date for these provisions in the Standards as they relate to existing pool facilities was extended from March 15, 2012 to May 21, 2012 in a final rule signed by the Attorney General on Thursday, March 15, 2012. The extension was provided in order to allow additional time to address misunderstandings that had arisen among pool owners and operators regarding compliance with these ADA requirements. When the Attorney General issued the final rule, he also signed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking public comment on whether a longer period of time (four additional months) would be appropriate to allow pool owners and operators to better understand their obligations. The comment period on the NPRM closed on April 4, 2012. The content of these webinars was limited to a discussion of the substantive requirements of the ADA regulations for existing pools and did not include any discussion of the Department’s pending rulemaking regarding an additional extension of the effective date.