On September 15, 2010, the Department of Justice (DOJ) published revised regulations for Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). While the revisions have limited applicability in the apartment context, they do include a new accessibility standard for swimming pools.
Title III of the ADA requires that swimming pools open to the public (e.g., that sell memberships to people outside an apartment property’s resident community) must be brought into compliance with the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design by May 21, 2012.
All covered pools must provide an accessible means of entry/exit. Such accessible means include a pool lift or sloped entry, and either a transfer wall, transfer system or pool stairs. The type of and number of access depends on the size and type of structure (e.g., pool, spa, wading pool).
Property owners subject to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act through federally-assisted housing programs (excluding Section 8 housing voucher program) may also have compliance obligations for new construction or renovated properties.
This NMHC/NAA guidance provides more information on the requirements. Pool operators are advised to review both the new ADA requirements and their local code requirements; the more stringent requirement prevails.