You are on page 1of 3

DJ 202-PL-746

JUNE 2 1994

Ms. Barbara Foster Director of Residence Services Laurel Lake Retirement Community 200 Laurel Lake Drive Hudson, Ohio 44236 Dear Ms. Foster: This letter is in response to your request for information about the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") applicable to the swimming pool at your retirement community. The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities having rights or obligations under the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the ADA requirements. However, it does not constitute a legal interpretation or legal advice, and is not binding on the Department. Title III of the ADA applies to all privately owned places of public accommodation that fall within one of the twelve categories of "places of public accommodation" listed in the Act. Strictly residential facilities are not included in the twelve public accommodation categories and are thus not covered by the ADA. However, places of public accommodation within strictly residential facilities, such as recreational facilities, may be covered by the ADA, if their use is not limited exclusively to the owners, residents, and their guests. Your correspondence to us indicates that the swimming pool in your facility is utilized only by residents and their visitors. Thus, assuming that the retirement community is a

privately owned residential facility and would not be considered a social service center establishment, the pool would not be subject to the ADA requirements for accessibility. Nonetheless, your housing units may be subject to the requirements of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, as amended, which prohibits discrimination

01-03129 -2on the basis of disability. For further information on the accessibility standards of the Fair Housing Act, please direct your inquiries to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The provisions of the ADA regarding public accommodations within residential facilities are described in more detail in the enclosed Technical Assistance Manual published by the Department of Justice. See Part III-1.2000 at page four. If your residential facility provides a significant enough level of social services, such as meals, counseling, transportation or training, it may be covered under title III of the ADA as a "social service center establishment." The owners and operators of such a "social service center establishment" are required to remove architectural barriers to accessibility if removal is readily achievable, that is, without much difficulty or expense. The barrier removal obligations for existing facilities do not require a facility to exceed the requirements that would apply to new construction that are set out in the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. The Standards do not have specific provisions regarding swimming pools. When there are no specific standards for a particular type of facility in the Standards, the general standards should be applied to the extent possible. For example, a swimming pool complex must comply with the requirements for the parking facility, route to the facility door, route to the pool, locker rooms, showers, etc. Discussion of these provisions can be found in section 36.304 of the enclosed title III regulation, and at pages 30-40 and 46-47 of the Technical Assistance Manual. Also enclosed as Appendix A to the title III regulation are the ADA Standards for Accessible Design.

I hope this information is useful to you in understanding the requirements of the ADA. Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch Chief Public Access Section Enclosures

01-03130