Boycott targets hotels without chairlifts

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In response to the recent delay of the first Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility standards for hotel pools, disability activists launched July 18 a targeted boycott of hotels that have not complied with the new regulations.

Swimming Pool

Hotel boycott organized

In May 2012, the Obama Administration announced it was delaying the regulations from going into effect until January 31, 2013, to give hotel owners more time to either provide sloped entries or install lifts to assist people who use wheelchairs and other mobility disabilities with entering and leaving their pools.

The delay came in response to complaints regarding the cost of the lifts from the hotel industry’s main lobbying groups, the American Hotel & Lodging Association and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association.

“This attack on the ADA isn’t just an assault on our right to access pools,” ADAPT stated in a news release. “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.”

Hundreds of disability activists protested the delay in Washington D.C. in June. Now, along with the boycott, the activists also call on supporters to steer conventions, meeting and leisure travel away from those hotels. They are also calling on supporters to ask hotels whether they have installed the lifts before booking rooms and for travel agencies companies, such as Orbitz and Travelocity, to steer events away from the targeted hotels.

“You have a lot of big hotel chains hiding behind the trade groups associations saying on one hand they want to work to support people with disabilities, and on the other hand, they’re actively working against equality,” Mark Perriello, president of the Americans Association of People with Disabilities, told USA Today.

The campaign is organized by the AAPD, ADAPT, the National Disability Rights Network, and the National Council on Independent Living.