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Access Academy ADA - S.R.Smith


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Between March 15, 2011 and March 15, 2012, over 100,000 commercial swimming pools will be required to make their pools accessible to people with disabilities. Learn more about ADA swimming pool compliance and become a certified Swimming Pool Accessibility Specialist through the S.R.Smith FREE, online, on-demand Access Academy.

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Access Academy ADA - S.R.Smith

  1. 1. Access Academy
  2. 2. ADA Education Program GoalsBetween March 15, 2011 and March 15, 2012over 100,000 commercial swimming pools willbe required to make their pools accessible topeople with disabilities. The purpose of thiscourse is to educate pool industry professionalson ADA and the relevant sections related toswimming pools. Professionals that pass the testwill become a certified Swimming PoolAccessibility Specialist.
  3. 3. ADA Education OverviewThis course will focus on four key areas:• Understanding ADA• Who is/is not affected• Swimming Pool Accessibility Requirements• Maintenance and Enforcement
  4. 4. What is ADAADA is an acronym for the Americans withDisabilities Act, which is civil rights legislationthat prohibits discrimination based on disability.
  5. 5. ADA TimelineThe original act was signed into law by PresidentGeorge HW Bush on July 26, 1990. This passagewas the result of over 20 years of discussionswithin congress on how best to provide a levelplaying field for people with disabilities.
  6. 6. ADA TimelineOnce the law was signed, the task of defining exactly whataccessibility means, was given to a government department thatis usually referred to as the US Access Board. The Access Board iscomprised of architects, engineers, designers, and otherinterested parties, who set standards that are designed toremove barriers for people with disabilities.Once the Access Board develops such standards, they are passedalong to the Department of Justice to be codified into law andenforced.
  7. 7. ADA TimelineIn 1991, the first set of ADA regulations went intoeffect. Elements affected by these regulations are nowpart of the fabric of everyday life in the United States.These regulations resulted in curb cuts, handicappedparking places, accessible bath and hotel rooms,ramps, and braille signage and wayfinding.
  8. 8. ADA TimelineAlmost immediately after the release of the 1991regulations, the Access Board began to work on arevision to these regulations which would include areasnot covered or addressed in the 1991 version.
  9. 9. ADA TimelineSomewhere around 1995, the Access Board beganwork on accessibility requirements for swimming pools.After several revisions, much discussion, and thought,in September, 2003, the Board released the Americanswith Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines forSwimming Pools. This document is commonly referredto as ADAAG 2004.
  10. 10. ADA TimelineOn July 26, 2010, the revision of the ADA was signedinto law. Coincidentally, this date was the twentiethanniversary of the signing of the original ADA law. Thenew regulations were published in the Federal Registeron September 15, 2010 and will go into effect onMarch 15, 2011. Full Compliance Required by March 15, 2012
  11. 11. Disability in America There are 50 million With Disability, 18% people with disabilities in the United States. This equates to 18% of Without our population, whichDisability, 82% makes this our largest minority group. +50MM Americans are Disabled
  12. 12. Why ADA?To protect this population, the ADA is designedto prevent discrimination against a person basedon a disability. The goal is to provide a levelplaying field, so that a person with a disabilitycan compete equally for jobs and also enjoy thesame benefits of living in the United States as aperson who is able-bodied.
  13. 13. Who is Affected? Title II-Public Title III-Private Who is NOT Affected? Private Residences Apartments Condominiums
  14. 14. Who is Affected• The ADA is broken down into a number of sections or “Titles.” The two sections that are of relevance to our industry are Title II and Title III. Title II lays out barrier removal regulations for state & local government owned facilities, including parks & recreation departments, state run schools or universities, and the like.• Title III addresses barrier removal for privately owned public accommodations. These include hotels, health clubs, private schools and community centers
  15. 15. Who is NOT Affected• To understand who is actually regulated by the ADA, it may be easier to list the types of facilities not covered. These include Private residences, apartments, and condominiums.• These types of facilities are regulated by the Fair Housing Act. Under this act, common areas within apartments and condominiums are required to be barrier free. In the case of a swimming pool, for example, the Fair Housing Legislation will get a person up to the edge of a pool, but will not help them get into the water.
  16. 16. Public AccommodationsIn some cases, facilities, such as these, thatare not normally regulated by the ADAmay, in fact, fall under its jurisdiction ifthey provide a public accommodationwithin their facilities.
  17. 17. Public AccommodationsExamples• If an apartment complex sells memberships to their pool to people living outside their complex, the pool would be considered a public accommodation and be subject to ADA regulations.• If a condominium actively rented out their units, similar to a hotel, this would also be considered a public accommodation and subject to ADA regulations
  18. 18. Public AccommodationsMore Examples• If a home owner’s association rents out their pools for parties to people from outside their community, these would also be subject to ADA regulations.• Private clubs are normally excluded from ADA regulations, however, the club must meet rigid criteria to qualify for such an exemption. The membership must be very restricted, and substantial fees must be charged. If the club had very loose membership requirements and charged a minor fee for membership, they would not be considered a private club and would need to comply with ADA regulations.
  19. 19. Safe Harbor• With the revisions adopted in 2010, the regulations do provide relief to entities who made barrier removal modifications in line with the 1991 guidelines.• If an existing facility made such a modification and the new regulations require a different type of modification, the existing facility will not be compelled to bring their facility up to the 2010 standards until that facility undergoes a significant modification or renovation. This is called a safe harbor,
  20. 20. Safe Harbor• Elements that were not addressed in the 1991 standards but are now addressed in the 2010 requirements, are not covered by a Safe Harbor. Existing facilities that have such elements, must make modifications to assure compliance with the new regulations by March 15, 2012.• In the case of swimming pools, there were no requirements mentioned in the 1991 regulations. Therefore, there is no safe harbor for swimming pools.All existing pools must meet 2010 standards by March 15, 2012.
  21. 21. ADA Regulations for Swimming Pools
  22. 22. What Types of Aquatic Areas are Affected?The type of pool determines the type of accessrequired. ADA regulations affect the following:• Swimming Pools• Spas• Wading Pools• Aquatic Recreation Facilities (wave action pools, leisure or lazy rivers, any type of pool where access to the water is limited top one area)
  23. 23. Types of Aquatic Areas NOT Affected• Beaches• Lakes• Rivers• In addition, catch pools, or bodies of water where a water slide or flume ride drops users into the water, are not required to provide an accessible means of entry or exit
  24. 24. Approved Means of AccessThe newly adopted regulationsdefine five permitted means ofaccess for swimming pools.• Lifts• Sloped Entries• Transfer Walls• Transfer Systems• Accessible Pool Stairs
  25. 25. Approved Means of Access• Of these, only Swimming Pool Lifts and Sloped entries are considered primary means of access. A primary means of access is the only type of swimming pool access that can be used by itself.• The other three types of access can only be used in conjunction with either a sloped entry or a swimming pool lift. This is why they are called secondary means of access.
  26. 26. Swimming Pool Lifts• Swimming Pool Lifts are mechanical devices that are used to transfer an individual in and out of a swimming pool. Lifts come in different shapes and sizes and can be battery powered or powered by water pressure.• Swimming pool lifts are the most versatile and easily retrofittable means of access for pools.• In order to insure consistency in operational capabilities, the new regulations provide specific requirements for pool lifts.
  27. 27. ADA Compliance=Product + InstallationRequirement Pool Lift Speci Speci fic ficWater depth at point of entry no more than 48” •When over the deck, center line of seat is at least 16” from pool edge •36x48” clear deck space on the side of the seat opposite the pool • •Deck slope no greater than 1:48 •Seat is 16-19” from the deck to the top of the seat surface •Seat is at least 16” wide •Footrests that move with the seat •Optional arm rests are removable or fold clear to allow easy access •User operable form both deck and water •Seat submerges 18” below water line • •300 pound lifting capacity •
  28. 28. Sloped Entry • The second Primary Means of Access is a sloped entry. • Sloped entries must comply with existing ADA regulations for slopes located out of the water, with the exception that the surface need not be slip resistant • Sloped entries require minimum maintenance and are ideal for facilities with a large group of ambulatory users. • A sloped entry can be a built-in entryway, as illustrated in the photo, or can be a removable ramp. Whichever type of sloped entry is used, it must follow the prescribed specifications.
  29. 29. Sloped Entry• A sloped entry must have a maximum of a 1:12 slope ratio. In other words, a pool that is 4 feet deep would require a 48 foot long ramp.• Ideally, the slope should extend into a water depth between 24 and 30 inches deep.• The sloped entry must be a minimum of 36 inches wide.• A slope that is over 30 feet long, must provide an intermediate landing area that is a minimum of 5 feet long.• In addition, a sloped entry must provide handrails on both sides. The width between the handrails should be between 33 and 38 inches, and the rails should be between 34 to 38 inches to the top of the gripping surface.• Handrails must comply with existing ADA regulations regarding diameter, non-rotating, and height.
  30. 30. Sloped Entry Requirement Summary• 1:12 Slope• 24-30” Depth• 36” wide entry• Hand Rails on both sides• Provide landings if slope is over 30’ long
  31. 31. Mobile Aquatic Chair Facilities that use sloped entries as their access means are encouraged to provide an aquatic chair designed for access into the water.
  32. 32. Secondary Means of Access• Transfer Walls• Accessible Stairs• Transfer Systems
  33. 33. Transfer Walls• Transfer walls allow someone to transfer onto the top of the pool wall from a wheelchair, then ease themselves into the water.• Transfer walls should be between 16 and 19 inches above the ground and between 12 and 16 inches wide.• There should be at least one grab bar that extends the entire width of the top of the pool wall.• The surface of the top of the pool wall should be smooth and have rounded edges. Transfer walls are commonly used in spas.
  34. 34. Accessible Stairs • Accessible pool stairs provide balance and support for someone who is entering the pool from a standing position. • Stairs are required to have railings on both sides that are between 20 and 24 inches wide. • Accessible stairs are, obviously, only suited to ambulatory individuals.
  35. 35. Transfer System• Accessible stairs are, obviously, only suited to ambulatory individuals.• The person transfers from the wheelchair to the top of the system, much the same way they would use a transfer wall. Then they proceed to transfer up or down the device.
  36. 36. Transfer System• The height of the initial transfer platform must be between 16-19 inches above the deck and the top platform must be a minimum of 19 inches deep and 24 inches wide.• The maximum height of the descending steps is 8 inches and each step must be between 14 and 17 inches wide.• The steps should extend into the water at least 18 inches below the water surface.• The surface of the steps should be smooth with rounded edges.• A grab bar must be provided on one side of the steps.• There must be a 60x60” area of clear deck space.
  37. 37. Transfer System • Here is an example of a transfer system used with a slide. • This is a good example of providing access to a play feature in a pool.
  38. 38. Access Requirements• For swimming pools, the number and type of required access means corresponds to the size of the pool.• For large pools, with over 300 linear feet of pool wall, at least two means of access are required. One of these means must be a primary means. The other can be any of the five. It is suggested that different types of access means be used to accommodate a wider variety of users, but there is no regulation to prevent a facility from having two pool lifts, for example.• For smaller pools, with under 300 linear feet of pool wall, at least one means of access must be provided and it must be a primary means. If additional access points are provided, they can be of any type.
  39. 39. Access Requirements Summary• Pools >300 linear feet – Two accessible means of entry• Pools <300 linear feet – One accessible means of access
  40. 40. Other Types of Water Facilities Facility Type Access Requirement Spas One: Lift (footrest not required), transfer wall, transfer system Wading Pools One: Sloped entry (handrails not required)Wave Action, lazy One: Lift, sloped entry, transfer system rivers, etc.
  41. 41. Accessibility Compliance Matrix
  42. 42. Maintenance of Accessible Features• In the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines, there is a “Maintenance of Accessible Features” provision which states that a “public accommodation shall maintain in operable working condition those features of facilities and equipment that are required to be readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.”• This regulation insures that the pool will be accessible at all times. It also creates an opportunity for dealers with service departments to help their customers to keep their pool lifts in proper working condition, through programs such as annual maintenance contracts.
  43. 43. Tax Credits• One frequent complaint about the barrier removal provisions of the ADA is the associated cost. In order to ease the financial burden on facilities that are required to make modifications to meet accessibility regulations, the government provides tax credits in certain circumstances.• If a facility has annual revenues under 1 million dollars, OR has fewer than 30 full-time employees, it can receive a tax credit up to $5,000 to help offset the cost of accessibility modifications.• The dredit amount is roughly one-half of the actual expenditures, up to a limit of $5,000.• Although many smaller hotels will exceed the revenue limit, they may have fewer than 30 full-time employees and may be eligible for the credit.
  44. 44. EnforcementEnforcing the ADA is the responsibility of the DisabilityRights Section of the Department of Justice.Enforcement can be either direct or indirect.Direct enforcement occurs in a number of ways.• Consumer complaints can be filed by an individual directly with the DOJ.• Private lawsuits can also be filed against offending bodies• Many such lawsuits are filed by disability advocates who act as professional plaintiffs in order to compel public accommodations to provide accessible facilities.
  45. 45. Enforcement• Typically, if a facility is found to not be in compliance with accessibility regulations, their penalty is to simply to perform whatever modifications are necessary to meet ADA regulations.• Sometimes, however, in the case of a private lawsuit, losing defendants are usually required to pay the plaintiff’s legal fees. And, in some situations, the court may assess a fine on the delinquent party.• Indirect enforcement many times affects government owned facilities, such as parks & recreation departments, where the ADA is enforced by using compliance as a requirement for receiving federal grants.
  46. 46. Other ADA RegulationsBesides the ADA, there are other agencieswho provide regulatory guidance onaccessible issues.• The Fair Housing Act stipulates regulations for apartments and condominiums as we discussed previously.• Many states have accessibility requirements tied into their state building codes, such as in California.• in addition, some local health or building departments may also get involved with such regulations and withhold certificates of occupancy for new construction, or for facilities undergoing renovations if the facility does not meet ADA standards.
  47. 47. Additional ResourcesTo learn more about ADARegulations and accessibleequipment see thefollowing resources:• Department of Justice Web Site:• SR Smith microsite: