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ADA Compliance: How to avoid the wrong products

publication date: Mar 8, 2012
author/source: Elliott Mest
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As hoteliers face compliance deadlines for federal laws regulating Americans with Disabilities Act standards and crib-safety standards, they must make sure they’re investing in the right new products.

One particularly costly ADA-compliance regulation mandates that swimming pools with less than 300 feet of wall space need a sloped entrance or a pool lift, and pools with more than 300 feet of wall space must have at least two means of entry, one of which must be a lift or sloped entry.

That translates into high expenses, especially for smaller properties.


ADA Compliance: How to avoid the wrong products  

By Elliott Mest

“If I’m a small hotel that is making plans to install a pool or hot tub, or I have one that needs repairs, the new regulations may be the deciding factor that puts a stop to my efforts,” said Dale Papke, president of HydroTher Spa. Papke sees the regulations going into effect in March as bad timing during a recovering business economy, but also understands their necessity.

“It’s wonderful news for people with disabilities,” he said.

Despite the necessity, hoteliers and manufacturers are concerned that misinformation is spreading about products that do and do not meet compliance guidelines.

“Not all fixed-side baby cribs on the market are compliant with the recognized standards,” said Mark Suvak, VP of safety and compliance at Medina, Ohio-based Foundations, a baby product manufacturer. “If a property waits too long to find the correct models of cribs to purchase, they run the risk of not being fully informed or not being fully compliant. Also, if they wait too long the demand could easily outstrip the supply.”

“You have to buy from a specialist in order to be sure of your compliance,” Papke said. “Purchasing a pool lift requires a detail-oriented knowledge of state and country codes, and we want to see your blueprints, too. It isn’t something that you want to buy off of eBay.”

Suvak recommends obtaining a certificate of compliance for anything that is affected by a change in regulations, and states that these certificates are necessary in the purchase of cribs. “Short of having that certificate, a crib has absolutely no basis in compliance, and there is no way of telling if a crib is compliant simply by looking at it,” he said.

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