Hospitality Industry: Compliance of New ADA Regulations in Effect this March
As of this coming March 15th, new ADA regulations will require that businesses in the Hospitality Industry undergo changes, greatly affecting a large array of operations. Hotels, Motels, and Lodging Facilities, for example, all must be in compliance with these regulations. If they are not up to current regulations, mandated in 1991, they would then be required to make any and all new modifications under the 2010 standards.
“The new rules usher in a new day for the more than 50 million individuals with disabilities in this country,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. “The rules will expand accessibility in a number of areas and, for the first time, provide detailed guidance on how to make recreation facilities, including parks and swimming pools, accessible.”
The amended regulations contain many new or expanded provisions on general nondiscrimination policies, including the use of service animals, the use of wheelchairs and other power-driven mobility devices, selling tickets for wheelchair-accessible seating at sports and performance venues, reserving and guaranteeing accessible rooms at hotels, and providing interpreter services through video conferencing.
In addition, those in the Hospitality Industries will need to ensure that the reservations staff of a hotel or a third party can identify accessible features in guest rooms (e.g. guest room door widths and availability of roll-in showers) and other hotel amenities in sufficient detail so that an individual with a disability can make an independent assessment whether the hotel meets his or her accessibility needs.
These are the first major updates to DOJ’s regulations from 1991. They are based on accessibility research, changing times, new knowledge, and other factors. The updates reflect also changes that respond to advances in ways of communicating, new technology, as well as new types of mobility devices, such as Segways, and increasing requests for a variety of animals to be considered service animals.
Talk to your Hospitality clients to make sure their covered for any potential liability based on these new regulations. IPOAUSA provides Hospitality insurance programs for operations across the country.