I THOUGHT THIS REBLOG I AM POSTING HAD SOME REALLY GOOD INFORMATION ABOUT THE NEW WOULD BE LAW WHICH IS THE HOTEL INDRUSTIES POOLS HAVE TO BE ACCESSABLE FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES UNDER THE ADA. SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/kathleen/Desktop/passwords%20for%20comcast%20pottery%20barn SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/kathleen/Desktop/passwords%20for%20comcast%20pottery%20barn POWER GRID BLOG MARK’S WEEKLY MESSAGE: SUPPORT ACCESSIBLE POOLS
MARK’S WEEKLY MESSAGE: SUPPORT ACCESSIBLE POOLS
March 16, 2012 | AAPD Power Grid Blog Team
What I’m about to write will not be a surprise to my fellow civil rights advocates or the disability community as a whole. But I’m writing it anyway, and I want you to pass it along to everyone you know, particularly your friends and family who are not aware of the following facts:
In 2012 when the AAPD staff wants to have a birthday party we have to search for fully-accessible restaurants, of which there are too few. On a recent trip to New York my colleagues who use wheelchairs had to go through a loading dock to get into an office building. When American school children and other tourists make the patriotic pilgrimage to Washington D.C. they find many museums with separate entrances for wheelchair users and few accommodations for blind and low-vision or deaf and hard of hearing visitors.
It’s 2012 and we’ve had enough. We can only move forward; we will not allow progress to roll back. The ADA is being enforced more slowly than we’d imagined 21 years ago. Until now, we had seen no progress on an important public accommodation—swimming pools. The center of family vacations for so many people. The way we get away from stress. At last, the Department of Justice has moved to provide access. It’s been a long time coming.
This week we learned that some members of Congress and the hotel industry wanted to stop us from getting access to pools through accessible wheelchair lifts. They said it would cost too much. They said the lifts were an eye soar. They said that people with disabilities don’t visit their hotels.
They are wrong.
There are over 50 million Americans with disabilities, and in spite of challenges many believe we face, we go on vacation. Some of us might be avoiding the hotels that are not accessible now. Maybe. Maybe the family members who don’t use wheelchairs are approaching their inaccessible check-in desks and are speaking up. It’s hard to say.
What I do know is that our access to pools—like many public accommodations, is long overdue.
Some readers might be thinking “this is frivolous. They’re talking about a luxury.” Real talk: if any other group was being excluded from pools in 2012, there would be a public outcry. Right here in DC, civil rights activists won a hard-fought battle to integrate a pool back in 1961. It took decades to integrate Glen Echo park right outside of DC. Its enormous “crystal pool,” which was built in 1931 and had human-made sand beach, was known throughout the area as a way to go on vacation without having to travel. But only white people could have a “beach vacation” a mile past the DC line. It was the same all across the country. Millions of African Americans were denied the right to take their families to a day at the pool. It’s a shameful chapter of our history.
And it’s a chapter of our history that is not yet closed.
Right now the accessibility rules are on hold pending further discussion. The federal government has heard our views on the matter, but from what I’m hearing, the business community has not. Please call or email the hotel or resort that you visit for business or pleasure—or one that you wish you could visit. Let them know that we are here, we are customers or potential customers, and that it’s time for the hospitality industry to show hospitality to everyone.