Provide Equal Access For The Disabled At Hotel Pools

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Target: U.S. Congress

Goal: Require hotels to provide equal access to pools for the physically disabled

Extensive lobbying campaigns by the largest hotels in the industry continue to delay enforcement of a law requiring installation of pool lifts, which would provide pool access for the physically disabled. A bevy of disability groups and other advocates plan to boycott these hotels to send an economic message that disabled patrons deserve an equal opportunity to hotel amenities. Congress must stop pandering to lobbyist influence and realize its duty to protect the rights of all its citizens, especially those already at risk of disenfranchisement.

Standards put forth in the Americans With Disabilities Act in 2010 addressed this issue and at the beginning of this year the Department of Justice set a fixed deadline requiring construction of permanently fixed pool lifts. Lobbyists successfully got that deadline extended another month, and now another amendment passed in the GOP controlled House has pushed that deadline into next year. Notice a trend?

The hotel industry has taken the position that no one, no law, should require them to provide such facilities as they present an undue financial burden, increased insurance costs, more employee training and could be a possible safety hazard for children. These are the same empty excuses given by the public bus industry in the 1980s when wheelchair lifts were the hot issue. Such explanations ring just as hollow today as they did more than thirty years ago.

For the physically disabled, a wheelchair offers independence and mobility in a world dominated by the pace of the able-bodied. Still, navigating this world is an immense challenge and should not be made more difficult by the fiscal cowardice of profit-hungry businesses. Sign this petition and demand that Congress enforce legislation requiring hotels to install pool access lifts for the physically disabled.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear U.S. Congress,

A revision of standards put forth in the Americans With Disabilities Act in 2010 called for hotels to provide pool lifts for the wheelchair-bound. This Department of Justice revision declared a deadline of March 15, 2012 for this to occur. That deadline was subsequently pushed another month thanks to hardworking lobbyists. Now, after a House amendment to the 2013 Consumer, Justice Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, that deadline has been pushed into next year. I am writing to express my dismay at these actions and to call for a revision of legislative attitude towards this issue.

In the 1980s, public bus systems argued vehemently against required implementation of wheelchair lifts. Many of those very same desperate excuses are being used again now, more than thirty years later, by hotel lobbyists. All citizens, able bodied or not, have an equal right to access services and the physically disabled should be no different. I urge you to demonstrate a visible commitment to the rights of disabled citizens and stop the delay of this important legislation.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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55 Signatures

  • Hermann Kastner
  • Eric von Borstel
  • Muhammad Kamal
  • Mal Gaff
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Holly Hall
  • Jutta Taraniuk
  • Melanie waleski
  • Ricki Newman
  • sundriya grubb
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