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Disability Community Protests Assault on ADA Swimming Pool Regulations

  • Published: 2012-06-21 (Revised/Updated 2016-11-07) : Author: The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
  • Synopsis: Disability activists and national organizations demand the hotel lobby end its campaign against fully accessible swimming pools.

Disability community protests the American Hotel & Lodging Association's assault on the Americans with Disabilities Act - National organizations and grassroots demand that the hotel lobby end its campaign against fully-accessible pools.

AAPD was founded in 1995 to help unite the diverse community of people with disabilities, including their family, friends and supporters, and to be a national voice for change in implementing the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). America's largest cross-disability membership association, organizes the disability community to be a powerful force for change - politically, economically, and socially. To learn more, visit

Hundreds of disability activists gathered in front of the American Hotel & Lodging Association's Washington, DC headquarters and demanded that the trade group stop their lobbying efforts to block equal access to America's swimming pools. The American Association of People with Disabilities, ADAPT, the National Council on Independent Living, and the National Disability Rights Network coordinated this event.

For the past three months, AH&LA has waged a full-scale lobbying effort to stop the Department of Justice (DOJ) from enforcing federal law requiring that they make hotel swimming pools and spas fully accessible to people with disabilities, calling such enforcement "unreasonable." This regulation to require hotels to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a federal law passed 22 years ago, but ensuring that their facilities are accessible for people with disabilities.

Originally scheduled to go into effect on March 15, 2012, the rule was stalled when the hotel industry, led by the AH&LA, launched an offensive to block it.

Leaders from the disability community commented on their summer campaign to protect civil rights:

ADAPT is a national grass-roots community that organizes disability rights activists to engage in nonviolent direct action, including civil disobedience, to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom.

The National Council on Independent Living is the longest-running national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. Founded in 1982, NCIL represents thousands of organizations and individuals including: Centers for Independent Living(CILs), Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), individuals with disabilities, and other organizations that advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States.

The National Disability Rights Network is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and Client Assistance Programs (CAP). Collectively, the P&A/CAP network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.

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