FIGHT BACK: Hotel Associations Attack the Americans with Disabilities Act!
A coalition of disability rights groups – including ADAPT, the American Association of People with Disabilities, National Council on Independent Living, the National Disability Rights Network, and over 50 local and state disability rights groups and service providers – are leading a campaign to push back against the hotel industry's attack on the Americans with Disabilities Act. This campaign includes a boycott, media campaign, direct action and continued efforts to to educate regulators, lawmakers, and appointed officials on this issue.
Right now, YOU CAN TAKE ACTION NOW and send a message directly to those leading this attack on the ADA. To TAKE ACTION, go to: http://ly.adapt.org/poolalert.
Background on the Issue
In 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a proposed rule that would require hotels with pools and other pools open to the public to provide lifts or sloped entries to make the pools accessible to people who use wheelchairs or have other mobility disabilities. The rule was set to go into effect on March 15, 2012, giving these pool owners two years to install pool lifts. Instead of urging their members to comply with the rules and provide access, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH&LA) and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) launched a campaign to overturn the access requirement and weaken the ADA.The hotel industry has used many excuses to avoid installing pool lifts, including:
- Installing pool lifts are too expensive;
- Fixed pool lifts are unsafe for other guests and their children;
- People with disabilities don’t go to hotels; and
- People with disabilities will make pools unsanitary.
They said actually we’d poop in their pools! Seriously.
The Disability Community has attempted to work with these hotel associations to resolve this issue, but the hotel associations have made it clear that they will keep fighting the requirement to install fixed pool lifts.
This attack on the ADA isn’t just an assault on our right to access pools. It lays the groundwork for other groups to seek exemptions from making their programs, services and facilities accessible. This is an attack on the entire Disability Community. Ultimately, we could not just lose our access rights, but other rights under the ADA, including our right to live in the most integrated setting as affirmed by the Olmstead decision.
We cannot let the hospitality industry continue to discriminate against people with disabilities and attack our civil rights protections!
The boycott uses a two-tiered approach. First, we are boycotting the hotel groups represented among the executive leadership of the AH&LA and AAHOA because they direct and control the trade associations' lobbying agenda. They have the power to stop this attack on the ADA and the rights of people with disabilities.
These hotels represent the decision-makers. A full list of individual properties is available here.National Groups:
- Fitzpatrick Hotel Group
- Kimpton Hotels
- Carlson Rezidor hotels, including:
Regional and Local Hotels and Hotel Groups:
- Country Inn and Suites
- Hotel Missoni
- Park Plaza
- Park Inn by Radisson
- Radisson Blu
- La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club (La Jolla, CA)
- Trupadi, Inc. (Pacific Northwest independent hotels in the Pacific Northwest)
- Sagestar Hotels, Ltd. (Dallas, TX)
- JMP Hospitality Inc.
- O8A (1,300 independently operated Wyndham Hotels)
Second, but just as importantly, we are boycotting any hotel that does not have a fixed lift installed and is not exempted by readily achievable standards. When people with disabilities and our allies are making hotel reservations, they should ask if the hotel has a fixed lift for their pool, and to only book reservations at hotels which provide access to people with disabilities. This will send a clear message that we won't support businesses that don't provide access.
TAKE ACTION LOCALLY!The coalition is encouraging disability rights advocates from all over the country to do direct action. ADAPT chapters, Centers for Independent Living, Protection and Advocacy organizations and other local advocates can picket or rally outside hotels and other businesses affiliated with the leadership of the AH&LA and AAHOA.
During the NCIL conference, advocates carved out a lunch hour and rallied in front of the the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Rallies like this are a great way to highlight how the lack of real access affects our lives simply by giving an opportunity for folks to tell their stories. Groups can be creative and have fun as well. For example, you might want to bring an inflatable kiddie pool and use it as a prop.
You don't need a big group to make a difference! Even just one or two advocates can distribute flyers to people going to a hotel that is refusing to provide access to their pool.
For those new to direct action, we know the idea of organizing this might seem daunting, so we will be providing planning materials for local groups to use.
SEND A MESSAGE TO THE HOTEL INDUSTRY!
Right now you can send an email to the leadership of the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH&LA) and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA). Tell them to keep their hands off our civil rights!
To TAKE ACTION, go to: http://ly.adapt.org/poolalert.