(Chris Carlson / Associated…)
A coalition of disability rights groups has called for a boycott of just more than 100 hotels across the country to protest the resistance by industry leaders to install equipment to make hotel pools accessible to handicapped guests.
The Americans With Disabilities Act calls on owners of public pools, such as hotels and recreation centers, to install permanent lifts or ramps to give easier access to disabled guests. The equipment costs between $2,500 and $6,500 per pool.
But the American Hotel & Lodging Assn. and the Asian American Hotel Owners Assn. have asked the federal government to ease the rules to allow hotels owners to meet the requirement with temporary lifts.
"These industry groups are fighting tooth and nail to prevent Americans with disabilities from gaining access to their pools," said Mark Perrriello, president and chief executive of the American Assn. of People With Disabilities.
The group has teamed up with the National Disability Rights Network, ADAPT and the National Council on Independent Living to call for a boycott of the hotels operated by board members of the two industry trade groups.
The hotels facing the boycott include Kimpton, Carlson, Hampton Inn and Comfort Suites hotels. The advocates for the disabled say they will expand the boycott next week to other hotels that have resisted compliance with the law.
The federal rule had called for hotels to order or install the permanent lifts by May 21, but the Obama Administration has since postponed the requirement until early next year.
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