Facilities not surprised by new law

New federal regulations for the Americans With Disabilities Act go into effect next week.

And some Quincy organizations aren't surprised.

"We knew this was coming and last summer we had a professional company, and organization that does nothing but this work do a complete facility audit to look at all the facilities in the district and give us a report on what needed to be done," Ed Seger said.

Ed Seger is the director for the Quincy Park District and has been preparing for the new regulations.

For facilities like the district which has multiple locations, the federal government allows a transitional period to meet regulations as long as a plan is in place and twenty percent of the facility is ADA compliant. Currently the park district is on an eight year plan, but for other businesses that stand alone, changes need to be made soon.

"The deadline is the 15th and right now I don't have anything," general manager of Town and Country Inn and Suites Dax Fohey said.

Originally the Town and County Inn and Suites was going to purchase a portable lift for their pool and hot tub to allow people with disabilities to get in and out of the water when needed, but that is no longer ADA compliant. The new regulations require pool areas to have a permanent lift, which raises issues for these facilities.

"It could become a safety concern for kids," Fohey said. "A lot of times when you have something out people are going to play on it, jump on it maybe run into it, stub their toe on it. There are a lot of things that could happen."

The American Hotel and Lodging Association is lobbying against the ADA swimming pool regulations because of the safety liability issues.

Still despite what the final regulations are, local facilities know complying with them is what's right.

"In addition it's a good thing, these are not just made up to bother people," Eager said. "It's designed to allow people to have access as a family."

The American Hotel and Lodging Association is still trying to get the federal government to okay portable lifts before the fifteenth.

Until the final say is in, some local hotels are waiting to make purchases on permanent changes for the pool area.