Improve Accessibility at Your Pool
Now that the updated ADA rules for swimming pools and spas are in place, it is crucial to ensure that your pool provides the required level of accessibility. Depending on the size and type of pool you are operating, you need to provide an accessible means of entry. Various products can meet this requirement, from handicapped pool lifts and access steps to sloped entry and transfer tiers.
Q: What do we need to do to ensure our pool is in compliance?
A: The new ADA Swimming Pool Guidelines require all commercial bodies of water to offer additional means of entry and exit for patrons with disabilities. The law applies to any pool that is open to the public at any time that receives government funding or earns revenue from the pool via membership dues, rental fees and so on.
There are five means of access identified by the guidelines. Two of these—pool lifts and sloped entries—are considered primary means of access, while all five are considered secondary means of accessibility.
Swimming pool lifts are the most popular method to provide a primary means of accessibility to pools, spas, lazy rivers and other pools limited to one area of entry or exit.
Talk with your pool equipment supplier about what you need to do to ensure your pool is compliant with the law. They have experts on hand who have helped others comply with the ADA Guidelines, and they will be able to help you to find the pool lift or other means of access that will best meet your facility's needs.
Q: What else should we know?
A: While pool lifts are the most commonly used means of accessibility, you do have other options. Sloped entry is another way to provide a primary means of access to your pool. Secondary means of accessibility include accessible pool stairs, a transfer system or a transfer wall.
In addition to these various means of entry and exit to your pool, you might consider including a mobile aquatic chair at your facility. While it is not listed in the ADA Guidelines, an aquatic chair is useful for helping improve accessibility via a sloped entry or for maneuverability around your pool and locker room areas.
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