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Beware the Ides of March - ADA Revisions Become Effective on that Date

This week’s post comes from Hospitality Team member Mike Brunet (Employment and Litigation), as a follow-up to his January 21, 2011 post on revisions to the public accommodations sections of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Mike recently presented on these revisions to the Seattle Hotel Association, and, in this post, shares his extensive presentation on the ADA revisions, applicable deadlines, and what you should get done before March 15.

In a blog post here almost a year ago, I provided an overview of the first significant revisions to the ADA regulations since 1991. At that time, I focused primarily on the new regulations that became effective in March 2011, related to communications accessibility, service animals, and mobility devices. Hopefully you were able to implement changes to your operations and policies to address those regulations; if not, then this blog post should serve as a reminder to do so as soon as possible.

Although the linked presentation touches upon those same topics, albeit in more detail than in my prior post, its primary focus is on the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design. These standards mandate revisions to existing features, including common-area and in-room bathrooms, parking, and accessible seating. For the first time, accessibility standards have also been introduced for features common in hospitality properties such as swimming pools, saunas, and exercise rooms. 

I encourage you to review the linked presentation carefully, and to contact me with any questions that you may have. The 2010 Standards become mandatory, with limited exceptions, on March 15, 2012, so it is important to take action on these regulations quite soon.

Many thanks to Kevin Maher of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, whose presentation at the Washington Lodging Association Conference was extremely helpful in preparing my materials.

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Greg Duff, Editor
Greg Duff founded and chairs GSB’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.

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