Top Five Access Oversights

I see a lot of accessible rooms and do a lot of site inspections in my travels; and granted, some properties fare much better than others access-wise. I’m an optimist at heart though, and believe that everyone who makes the effort to add access features to their property has good intentions. But you know what they say about the road to Hell and good intentions.

Still, I’m genuinely glad folks make the effort , especially when many are not required to add access features. Continue reading

Breaking News — DOJ Extends Deadline for Pool Compliance

Well, the Department of Justice (DOJ) once again surprised me when they announced their decision to extend the compliance date for access to pools and hot tubs in places of public accommodation. While I had hoped that pools would be open for business this summer, that’s the case at all. In fact the DOJ extended the compliance date to January 31, 2013.

Yep, you read that one right. Continue reading

DOJ Clears the Air at Pool Access Webinar

Yesterday I attended the first of two webinars on swimming pool access, presented by the Department of Justice (DOJ). And I wasn’t alone as over 750 other people also logged on to it. The difference was that most of the folks were from the hospitality industry – the same industry that’s been lobbying for the repeal of the latest ADA guidelines for access to swimming pools and spas. I was merely there as an observer, as I was looking for some clue as to how the DOJ might respond to the industry request for an even longer extension to the implementation of those rules. Continue reading

Crossing the Line

Last week I discussed how sometimes some basic common sense can help things go a little smoother access-wise, as it pertains to privacy. As you recall, travel and tourism providers can’t ask you the details of your disability, but they can ask what accommodations you require. It’s really a fine line, one that often leads to some miscommunication because hospitality folks are afraid to ask too much, for fear they’ll break the law. So sometimes you have to volunteer a bit, just so they have a full understanding of your disability.

Then we have the other side of the coin. What do you do when they ask too much? Continue reading

My Comments to the DOJ

As promised, here are my comments to the Department of Justice, in regard to their proposed delay in implementation of the access regulations for pools and spas. Feel free to use any part of it you desire for your own comments. You can submit them here, but do it today, because we only have until April 4, 2012

To Whom it May Concern

As a travel writer who has covered accessible travel exclusively for the past 16 years, I am dismayed and disappointed at the 60 day delay for implementation of the new pool and spa access regulations. And my readers feel the same way. The prevailing mantra seems to be “We’ve already waited 22 years — why do we have to endure more delays?”

And I agree, and strongly oppose the 180 day extension for implementation. For several reasons. Continue reading

Flying With a Service Animal — Your Rights and Obligations Under the Air Carrier Access Act

I get a lot of questions about flying with service animals, so I thought I’d kick off International Assistance Dog Week with some useful information about the subject. Continue reading