DOJ Flooded with Public Comments

Well in what’s probably the shortest public comment period ever — just two weeks — the Department of Justice (DOJ) has received 1358 comments regarding the pool and spa access regulations. Of course the lodging industry was well represented, with a good number of properties sending in form letters penned by their lobbyists. That comes as no surprise; after all that’s what they pay their lobbyists for.

But here’s the really cool part. Over 55% of those comments were from people with disabilities, their friends, family members, Joe Public and grass roots disability focused organizations. Most of those comments were pretty direct, and some even contained personal stories about what it feels like to be denied access, and telling the DOJ that they just want to swim and enjoy the water like everyone else. This is great, not only because of the volume of the response, but because of the tone. No form letters there! 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

Let Your Voice Be Heard ? Pool and Spa Access

As reported in my last blog post, the Department of Justice delayed implementation of the new pool and spa access to May 21, 2012. They have also opened up the issue for public comment on if the implementation should be further delayed to Sept. 17, 2012 “in the interest of promoting clear and consistent application of the ADA’s requirements to existing facilities.” Continue reading

DOJ Knuckles Under to Powerful Hotel Lobby

In a very disappointing last minute decision, the Department of Justice (DOJ) granted the hotel industry a 60-day extension on the implementation of the new access regulations for pools and hot tubs. Scheduled to go into effect on March15, 2012 the new rules will now become the law of the land on May 15, 2012.

Of will they? Continue reading