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ADA Swimming Pool Lift Chair Compliance

  • Publish Date : 2011/10/11 - (Rev. 2018/05/02)
  • Author : Adam Henige


Information and new regulations regarding ADA swimming pool and spa compliance access for persons with disabilities.

Main Document

Information and new regulations regarding ADA swimming pool and spa compliance access for persons with disabilities.

The American Disability Act's part relating to public swimming pools and spas, states that all such public facilities will, from March 15, 2012 be required to install assisted entry systems to enable people with disabilities to gain independent access to such facilities.

All swimming pools and spas that are in receipt of government funding or membership dues must install a pool lift or sloped entry that complies with ADA regulations, according to the earlier 2010 Standard for Accessible Design rulings.

All public swimming pools and spas will be required to install pool lift chairs and/or sloped entry points to enable people with handicaps and disabilities to access the facility.

Any pool that has a perimeter wall greater than 300 linear feet will be legally required to have two access points, while smaller pools need only one.

Access points for larger pools may consist of a pool lift chair and a sloped entry or a transfer wall or portable staircase.

Spas must have either ADA compliant pool lift chairs, a transfer wall or a sloped entry.

All pool lifts and pool lift chairs, in order to be considered ADA compliant, must conform to the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design:

  • Pool lift chairs must have a solid seat that is at least sixteen inches wide and a stable foot rest in order to be ADA compliant.
  • Any facilities that have sling style pool lift chairs will need to replace them with chairs that are ADA compliant.
  • The pool lift chair should have controls that the disabled person can access and operate both in the water and on the deck.
  • Pool lift chairs should not be obstructed when they are not in use as obstructions could result in a disabled person becoming stranded in the pool.
  • Any facilities with existing pool lifts that need to be rotated manually with a hand crank are not ADA compliant and must be replaced with those that are.
  • A pool lift chair should have the capacity to hold a minimum of 300 pounds in weight and be able to withstand up to 450 pounds, enabling it to carry most individuals.
  • To enable people with disabilities to transfer safely from wheelchair to lift and vice versa, the lift should be situated over the pool deck and sixteen inches from the pool when the seat is raised.

For further information see the ADA accessible swimming pools and spas guidelines (PDF) and for measurements and guides for pool lift installations click here.

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