Thank you and welcome everyone to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Audioconference series. I am going to be moderating in conjunction with Peter Berg from the Great Lakes ADA Centers today, so I welcome you from wherever you might be joining us and I hope you find today''s session informative. We have individuals who are joining us today using the telephone and those who are also connected to the webinar platform, and individuals who are using the Realtime Captioning through the webinar platform. So I am just going to take a few minutes to review some of the webinar features to make sure that everyone who is using that system is familiar and comfortable with the features. So as I mentioned we have closed captioning available through the webinar platform. You can access the closed captioning by clicking on the CC icon that is at the top of your screen. For those of you that are using keyboards, you would use control F8 and you can then adjust the captioning screen as needed. You can also customize your view. People do not know that if you are in the webinar platform, you can change your view around. Up at the top of your screen you have a menu bar, choose view from that platform menu up there and you will have options to play around with your layout. That will only affect your layout and your view. So go ahead and just take a few moments if you want and try out what may work best for you. There is different ways, different sizes and different directions that the boxes will be, and that can be more comfortable for you in some of the different layouts. So go ahead and try that. We will be taking questions from you today and that is an important part of our webinar program and audio conference session. I have two ways that people can submit questions depending on which platforms you are involved with. Those of you on the telephone, when we are ready to take questions, we will cue the operator who will be there with us today, and she will give you instructions on how to use your touch tone phone to ask questions. Those of you that are using the webinar platform, you can submit questions at any time in the chat area text box. For those of using a keypad will be using control M on your key board to access the chat area. You will not be able to see the questions as they are being submitted. They are being hidden from you but they are being translated to the presenters so they will be able to see them and we will repeat them at the time when they address individual questions. We do ask people to refrain from using emotions or hand raising if possible. That is a feature that is available during the session but unless you are directed to do so, otherwise it can be discouraging, or confusing for people and put them off track. So at this time I am going to go ahead and go forward and introduce our presenter who is Marian Vessels and she is the director the mid Atlantic ADA center. Marian has been there at the mid Atlantic ADA center for over ten years now at this time and she leads up that effort and she is also in charge of and leads up the Hospitality and Disability Initiative, which is one of the projects of the ADA National Network similar to the ADA Audioconference program. She will be talking more about that as she goes through her session today. So at this time I am going go ahead and to turn over the microphone to Marian Vessels. Marian go ahead.
Thank you Robin. It is a pleasure to be with you all today. Lodging issues are something very near and dear to my heart as a person with a disability, a mobility disability, a wheelchair user. I have had many challenges and exceptional service at many facilities across the country and it is one of the reasons that I was very interested in helping the ADA National Network launch a Hospitality Initiative that We will talk about later in this session. As you all are probably aware of there are some exciting new regulations for the lodging industry and we are going to talk about some of these today. On slide 2 we are going to look at today''s agenda which, it is going to encompass the ADA regulations and their effective dates. The new reservation practices for places of lodging. Accessible guest rooms, just how many are required. And those are split up between physical access issues and communication. And talking about some of the accessibility features that lodging may have such as recreation, pools, things like that. So let''s jump in and talk about the new ADA regulations that the Department of Justice has recently amended. There are new regulations for Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Title III talks about places of public accommodation and places of public accommodation are those that you and I go to on a regular basis and it includes hotels, restaurants, gift stores, grocery stores. Any place the public goes to purchase goods and services. So you can see that lodging would definitely be one of those. And these new regulations are making dramatic changes to the way a hotel industry looks at a person with a disability and includes them in all of the processes. And especially when it, I want to highlight a lot of things around reservations today. Because there is some really exciting new ones for reservations. Generally the effective date for the regulations on title -- on slide 4 talks about March 15th. And we need to look at March 15th being the date 2011 when a lot of these changes were made. The new facility standards are changed on March 15th, 2012 which comes up in about three weeks. And so I am going to need to see if I need to do something different. Peter, if you can advance the slides to page -- slide 5 for me please. So places of public lodging, the new definition includes hotels, motels, inns, and facilities that provide sleeping rooms for states that are short term in nature. So we are really talking about the kind of things that you and I may do on a regular basis if we are traveling for business or personal travel. Almost all of those stays are going to involve less than 30 days. And where you do not have the right to go back to a specific room. So that you reserved a room and they will give you the one that is available. So it is not like a condo or a time share where you would go back possibly to the same facility time and time again with the exact same room. And a hotel, as you know, you do not have the ability to go back to your room necessarily because it is not yours. It is something that you go to as a -- as the available -- as available. So a guest room by definition in a hotel or a motel or an inn would be things like you can get on or offsite management. So that there is somebody there managing the facilities. And they will have a reservation service. You are going to be able to walk up and rent a room on the spot or be able to call in as most of us will do or do things on the web and there is also going to be the availability of housekeeping and linen services. These all define what makes a place of public lodging that we can go to on a regular basis. So you can see that it is fairly different from time shares or condo facilities. But there are also time shares and condos now that are operating as a traditional hotel as well. So we are going to look at those being hotels if they indeed rent out to the public any kind of provisions we just talked about where you can go in and rent room, et cetera. So some arewe are going to be doing both where they are going to function as a hotel and some of them are going to be individual owned and operated. The next slide, the reservation practices, this is some really exciting stuff. There are new requirements for hotels and motels, inns and any other type of lodging that are going to ensure access for guests with disabilities. And it is going to be including being able to use the web to be able to rent your room and reserve your room. The slide shows that, this is a good example of the preferences that you might want to look at when reserving a room on the web. Do you want an accessible room with a tub? Do you want an accessible room with a roll in shower? What other kinds of features are you going to want in the room. Up until now it was very rare to be able to find accessible features on a standard hotel website. And as of March 15th that will all change. So this is just an example that we were able to pull down from one of the websites of a major hotel. Okay. On reservation slide No. 7, who is responsible for this? Okay. Who is covered? Requirements that cover public accommodation, anyone that owns, leases, or operates a place of lodging, we have already described what a place of lodging was. So these are going to be any hotel or inn, motel that actually leases to the public, operates a place of public accommodation. So third party services are not going to be covered and those third party services that we are going to be talking about, we are going to be using that term, because that is what is required in the regulations by Department of Justice. The third party entities are things like Travelocity, Hotels.com and Orbit are all places where hotels give a block of their rooms to these third party venders to sell for them. And We will talk later how these venders must get accessible rooms as well as non-accessible rooms in the block that they get. So when we talk about third party from now on we are going to be referring to those kind of venders, the Travelocitys and Orbtiz that you see and hear about on Television (TV) and you can go and you can look at a variety of different types of hotel products in order to reserve your hotel room. On slide 8, we are going to be looking at the five basic requirements under the reservation practices. And, and in practice No. 1 we are talking about individuals with disabilities have to have the exact same access as everyone else. So if you prefer making your reservations by calling up the operator and telling them what you want, you should be able to do that as a person with a disability. You should be able to walk in to any facility and if you find yourself in need of a room unexpectedly you should be able to walk in, in person and reserve a room and talk about what your accessibility needs are. And again the third parties, the Orbtiz, the Priceline.coms, et cetera, should be fully accessible and allow you to navigate their website. So that means it needs to be accessible for folks with communication disabilities. So it needs to be fully accessible for somebody using a screen reader and not relying on sound as an indicator of movement to the next screen, et cetera, for somebody who is deaf or hard-of-hearing. On slide 9, we are going to be looking at reservation practices number two which talks about the hotel. So the very first time needs to be able to identify and describe all of the accessible features of the hotel and the guest room that somebody will be renting. There is enough detail so that you know exactly what they have and how that meets your specific needs. So an example was -- would be if you were somebody with a mobility impairment and you want to make sure they have van accessible parking because you have a van with a side lift, you want to make sure that the pool has a lift so that you will be able to use the pool facilities. You want to talk to them about the fact that you may prefer a roll in shower over a tub, that you want to make sure that the shower controls are within reach range when you are seated on the bench in the shower. You will want to talk to them possibly about the height of the bed, and if it meets your needs. If you use a Hoyer lift do they have a bed that has open space underneath to be able to maneuver the Hoyer lift underneath the bed. You are going to want to make sure, possibly, how much space there may be between the beds if you are in a room with two double beds. You may want to make sure the clearance underneath the vanity in the bathroom meets your needs. Okay. I notice that I am -- I am using my slide show and I will go back and make sure that I am using the correct slides. I pulled up my own slide show and I will make sure that I am using the ones that you are using. I am so sorry. I deferred back to my old ones. Okay. So on the next slide we are going to be looking at reservation practices. Number three, a reservation system must hold back accessible guest rooms until all other rooms of that type have been rented. This is great because if you are late to register to a session, or to a hotel you are going to be wanting to make sure that there is a room available. So they cannot give away the accessible room just because it is part of their hotel stock. They must hold that accessible room back to make sure that you have access to a hotel room just like everyone else does. So the last of the hotel rooms will be sold will be the accessible rooms. Which is great for those of us with disabilities and communication needs who are going to need accessible features. We put this slide in and we want to show you some of the things that are good about -- sometimes very typical accessible bathroom and some that are not. You will notice that they have a seat that complies with the regulations. But you will also notice that there is a grab bar right behind the seat. Well, if you are sitting on that seat that grab bar is going to be doing you no good and also make it very challenging for you to sit on that seat comfortably, but you can notice that if they drop the head of the, the shower head down you would be able to use it. The sink is accessible but you will notice that it does not have a vanity around. We will talk about some of the new requirements to make sure that however the accessible room is laid out it is laid out with the same vanity access as the standards rooms do. You will notice that the pipes are wrapped and that provides full access for folks who are coming up underneath the sink with a wheelchair and it protects legs from being burned. You will notice that the grab bar-- the toilet is outside the picture but you notice the grab bar that is going to go behind the toilet shows a telephone. The telephone does not have, is too low. It does not allow enough reach range between, or distance between the telephone and the grab bar. So these -- this has some accessible feature challenges. You notice the hair dryer is well within reach range and to the mirror as well as an accessible outlet. Okay. Next slide. Reservation practices for once someone has reserved an accessible guest room the hotel must remove it from the reservation system. So it is no longer available for anyone else to rent. So that you can then guarantee that you will have access to all of the features of the room that you have requested. Okay? Next slide we are talking about reservation practices 5. This is the best feature or I think one of the best features of the reservation practice in that you are guaranteed and they must hold the specific room that you as an individual with a disability reserve. Whether or not they do it for anyone else, many hotels will say we do not do that. We never reserve room 322 for a guest. And now they must reserve room 322 if that happens to be the accessible room with roll in shower and a king size bed that you requested. Because it has the features that you specifically need and they told you that that was a room that had all the features, and it met your needs. So they must take that room move it out of the supply and hold it specifically for you. So that you will not get surprises that many of us probably have had when you get there and they said oh, we do not have that room available anymore. I cannot offer you that room. You can say but I reserved this specific room and it was supposed to be taken out of the supply chain. Okay. Slide fifteen talks about the exception to the reservation practices. And so places like Travelocity and Orbitzs do not have to comply with the last three provisions we just talked about. They do not have the ability to remove a room from the system, guarantee a specific room, or hold back accessible rooms because that is not the agreement that they have with the hotels once they are given a block of rooms. So theyre not going to be able to honor that portion of the reservation practices because they just do not have control over it. But as an individual you still must be able to make reservations for the rooms and in the same manner and time as other people do. And they still must be able to describe the accessibility features to you. So theyre going to have to get that information from the properties to be able to tell you exactly what those processes are. Okay? The next slide talks about third party reservation services. Covered entities must make reasonable efforts, so the hotels themselves, to give at least some of those accessible rooms available to the third party services, the Orbitz and the Hotels.com and they are going to have to make sure that they give that information that we just talked about to the third parties. So that theyre going to have the ability to determine you as an individual is going to need to be able to determine what those features are. Okay? This is really exciting. So that you have got full access to folks, but you are not going to be able - you are not going to have the third party saying, oh we cannot do that. Now they have requirements, just like everyone else, to be able to check out and make sure that the third party venders are providing the access that you hoped to have. And the next slide, slide eighteen talks about - seventeen, I am sorry, talks about limited liability. So if the third party venders the Hotels.com does not provide the information correctly, the hotel itself is not going to be held liable. So Hotels.com it has got this, this and this and not exactly what the hotel told them you cannot go back to the hotel and say well, Travelocity told me this and that. You cannot hold a hotel liable for that. But they do not have the control of the third party vender. And so it is not their issue because they do not have that control. So it makes it kind of a little dicey sometimes to rely on the third party but at least you can understand where the liability lies and it is not, the hotel has no liability. You can go back to Travelocity and complain. Operator, we have time for questions.
Thank you ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to ask a question at this time, please press the star and then one key on your touch tone telephone. If your question has been answered or you wish to remove yourself from the queue, please press the pound key. Again if you would like an ask a question please press the star and one key. One moment please.
While we are getting those questions in order, Marian, participants in webinar room can ask questions by submitting them in the chat area and we have one that was submitted while you were presenting there Marian, and they wanted to know clarification of how these new requirements apply to time shares and condos where the units are rented to many individuals.
And that is the case where if they are acting like a hotel where they are doing a short term basis the -- they are pretty much a hotel, and not, you know, doing short term, et cetera, acting -- they have short term reservations, et cetera, then they are going to have the requirement just like a hotel does for the same practices. It is only when they are strictly time shares, strictly condos where they are not going to be, you know, long term rental, et cetera, that they are not going to be required to provide the mandates of this hotel requirement. So a lot of us will, you know, rent a condo as a third party for a week. Just like we would a hotel. And so we must be able to talk about the disability perspective in that condo room.
Okay, excellent. Do we have a question on the telephone?
We do. Our first question comes from [caller one].
Hi. I would like to - I am totally confused about the third parties because you said that initially the third parties are not covered and then you said they are required to provide the information about the room accessibility, and then you said again on fifteen that there is an exception, but you said that the hotel still has an obligation to make sure they can reserve in exactly the same way that everybody else in the public can. So I am not following you at all.
Okay. My apologies. The third party venders get the hotel block from hotel X. And then that hotel block of rooms that they are providing the third party vender, the Travelocity, they must have accessible rooms included in that block. So somebody with a disability can rent them. The third party vender must be able to describe the hotel features, the room and the hotel room to talk about how it accommodates somebody with a disability. They have the same requirements that the hotel itself does if you use the hotel reservation system. The liability issue, and maybe that is where it is confusing, is that the hotel itself is not going to be liable for what Travelcocity may or may not have said about the room. So if they somehow gave you wrong information you cannot go back to the hotel and say, Travelocity said it had this, this and this feature and I reserved room 322.
Hold on one second. [Caller one] can you pick up your handset, the folks are having difficulty hearing you in the webinar room. [Caller one] your original question had to do with the application of the lodging-- the reservation requirements to the third party entities that Marian had been referencing such as Orbitz and Traveloctiy and Hotels.com. So [Caller one] if you can pick up your handset you can go ahead with your follow up question. [Caller one]: I am sorry, I do not have an option of a handset here but I will move closer. Is that better?
Yes, you are clearer now. [Caller one]: Okay. The confusion then comes with who is going to be liable if I order a room through Orbitz or whomever Travelocity and they either get the room wrong or they do not reserve or take the room out of the mix, then who do I communicate this problem with?
You have to go back to the third party. [Caller one]: So they are covered under the regulations?
Right. But the hotel itself is not. [Caller one]: Okay.
Do we have our next question on the telephone?
The next question comes from [Caller two]. [Caller two]: I am in with [Caller two] and I had a question about requesting a room with a service animal. Ive been told, of course, which you are clarifying today that I cannot request a specific room. A lot of times I want one that is on a lower level so I can take the dog out for release areas. And will this cover that so that I can request a room and they hold it instead of giving it away? Am I understanding that correctly?
Right and we will talk about service animals later in the presentation today. [Caller two]: Thank you.
The next question comes from [Caller three]. [Caller three]: Hi. This is [Caller three] and I want to go back to the exception of liability issue.
Wait a second, can you pick up the handset? We are having some feedback on your end. [Caller three]: OK hows that?
Much better. [Caller three]: OK, I want to go back to the exemption exception and the liability issue. I booked a room through Orbitz and they tell me certain features of the room. I get to the hotel and they tell me that that room does not have those features. What do I do at that point? I am not interested in going back to Orbitz and arguing about-- I am standing at the desk ready to check in. What do I do then?
That then goes to hotel customer service. And, you know, the room that we have blocked for you does not have a roll in shower and you need the roll in shower. Then if they have a roll in shower then you would be asked to be placed in an available room. If a roll in shower is not available what else can they accommodate you. Is there a removable shower chair that might be able to meet your needs? Those will be some of your options then to negotiate once you are on site. [Caller three]: I am basically in the hands of customer service for them to get me or try to find me something that I need?
Right. The other option would beis-- and Ive not done this, but I would imagine you could also say that once you reserved the room is to confirm it with the hotel on site as well. [Caller three]: Uh-huh. Okay. I have another question from another person in our room.
Go ahead. [Caller four]: I want to understand something with the showers. Do the hand-held shower, is it required for a handicap room to have a hand-held shower and is it required a bench or is there a possibility of getting an actual chair? I have a spinal chord injury and a bench will not support me and how many --
Thanks for the question.
OK, can we reserve this a little bit until we talk about accessible features of the bathroom? For later on today...
Yeah, one other question from online and then we will go ahead and move along with presentation at this time. Marian, question about how do the new reservation requirements apply to public entities operating places of lodging such as state, department of natural resources operating lodging on state -- in state parks?
It is still considered a lodging facility. And so the same requirements for reservation, et cetera, would be covered as well.
Okay. Great, why do not we carry on with the presentation.
Okay. We will go on to slide nineteen. Accessible guest rooms: how many are required? And that is really important to know that, you know, probably not as many as you think there might be. On the next slide for those of you that may not have the slide in front of you, or can read a very complex slide, slide twenty It will show you a table that talks about number 1 through 25 rooms will require a guest room without a roll in shower. So on slide twenty, we are going to look at from 25 to 50 it has two accessible rooms but not a roll in shower. Once we get to 51 we will now have three accessible rooms with one with a roll in shower. 76 to 100 have four accessible rooms. We still only have one access -- one roll in shower, and then from 101 to 150 we get to five accessible rooms plus two roll in showers. Enough for a total of seven rooms accessible. And it goes all the way up to 1000 and over which talks about 20 accessible rooms plus one for each fraction over 100. And then one percent of the total being roll in showers, which gives you a total of three percent of the total. So you can really see as we describe this that roll in showers are not required until you have 51 rooms or more. And then it goes up in increments of 50 the first time and second time and then over 200-- 201 to 300 you get an increasing amount. So you do not have a lot of roll in showers. A lot of people think oh, roll in showers, you are going to able to get them, and it might be that that is really not the case or somebody has already reserved it. The smaller hotels-- They may only be required to have one or two roll in showers total. So for many of us roll in showers may be exactly what we need, but there may only be a couple and someone may have already reserved that room for us. The next one talks about communication features. And this is going to be again a separate table that looks at how many rooms require communication features and those communication features We will talk about later, talk about fire alarm signals, and telephone box controls, et cetera. So we are looking at 1 to 25 has two rooms. 25 to 54, 51 to 75, 76 to 100, 9. 12 over 101 to 150. So there is -- as you can see there is a lot more communication accessibility required in hotel rooms. And it is important to remember that each of these features for mobility and communication are going to be required for hotels. And that is not changed in the regulations. But on the next slide, you are going to see, on slide twenty two, that at least one of the mobility accessible guest rooms shall have both. It will have a mobility accessible features and communication accessible features. But not more than 10 percent of the mobility accessible guest rooms are going to be used to satisfy the requirement for communication accessible rooms. Up until now the ''91 standards all mobility accessible guest rooms and then additional ones were required to be equipped for communication access. So the overlap is now whats brand new for the new 2010 standards. These requirements are only going to be triggered by new construction or alterations and then can be used for barrier removal and existing facilities if they do not comply with the current 1991 standards. So if the facility that you go in complied with the 1991 standards they had enough communication accessible rooms and enough mobility rooms they would not have to have a bunch of additional communication accessible features. Because they met the requirement under 1991 until they start altering a facility or building new rooms. Slide twenty three, we are going to look at what an accessible communication feature is. And it is visual fire alarm signals, it is notification devices that will alert somebody with flashing lights for incoming telephone call or the doorbell knocking or ringing a bell. The telephone will have volume control. There will be an electrical outlet next to the telephone to be able to use the TTY if somebody is still using a TTY. And things like vibrating alarm clocks will be provided in a communication accessible room. Next slide, talks about what the accessible features are for the mobility accessible rooms. So we are looking at doorways with at least 32 inches of clear width. We are looking at lower peep holes. So many times you will see a standard peep hole and a lower one as well. You are going to look at 36 inches on each side of the bed, somebody with a wheelchair to maneuver on either side of the bed or between beds. You are going to look at door locks and door handles and operating controls such as the temperature gauge [inaudible], light switches, all of those are going to need to be at a reachable height which under the 1991 standards 54 inches and when newly built or newly renovated after March 15th it will be 48 inches which is huge. Which is huge, six inches makes a huge difference in reachable range. So a lot of these reachable controls and amenities if they are at 54 inches currently, are currently within guidelines and would not have to be modified. But if theyre renovating the room and many hotels do that depending on the standards usually every four to six years, those features would have to be modified to make sure that they meet the new standards for reachable range of 48 inches. The next slide we are talking about accessible bathroom features. And we are going to -- you know look at things like the maneuvering space that is going to be required to allow people to maneuver around the accessible room. So being able to get to the toilet, get to the sink. You will notice in the picture that we showed on slide twelve, that showed looks like a fairly large maneuvering space. It looks like you could get around, even though you didnt see it, over to the toilet, you could get under the sink, you could maneuver to the tub. Youd notice that in this slide, that at least the seat is well positioned within reach of the tub or shower head. It has a hand-held shower spray with a hose that is reachable. You do not have the side grab bar on this one. But you will remember on the last slide we showed exposed pipes were shielded. If indeed there was no vanity for other bathrooms, the vanity would not need to be accessible or any bigger than what we saw in that one. But sometimes they have a tendency to only put a sink, their sink, with no counter space in an accessible room and in a non accessible room you have a lot of counter space to be able to put your toiletries. Under the new 2010 standards you must have comparable vanity. Also reachable elements are going to be required or required to be accessible. Currently the 54 inch reach range for towel storage or robe hooks, et cetera, things that you will be able to reach. Sometimes the towels are above the toilet and are not within a 54 inch reach range. So it is very difficult to reach them. Or the place to be able to store your shampoo is at a standing reach range and not a seated reach range. Which would be required if you are using a roll in shower or seated position. Okay. That was kind of a short group. Now we are going to open it up to questions again.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to ask a question at this time, please press the star and then 1 key.
Participants in the webinar room can submit their questions into the chat area. Do we have our first question?
First question comes from [Caller 1].
Let me give a-- if folks are using speaker phones, we ask you to pick up the handset if that is possible. If not, get as close to the speak phone as possible so people can hear your questions. I am sorry, go ahead with your questions. [Caller 1]: Which one had the-- who came up first?
Go ahead and ask your question. [Caller 1]: Ok this is [Caller 1], I have a question. When she talks about the changes in the reach ranges which I am aware of, is she saying that even if a hotel has complied with the 1991 standards that they are going to be required to change it to 48 inch reach range on both sides reach and straight forward reach?
No. If they complied with the 1991 standards, until they modify that room, they are not going to be required. It is called safe harbor. [Caller 1]: Okay.
And we are going to talk about that. But safe harbor says that if you complied and it was within 54 inches of the current standards, the 1991 standards, then you will not have to modify to the lower standard. And if you think about it, it makes sense because the cost of renovating a facility to drop all of the light switches and everything else from 54 to 48 inches would be astronomical. And if somebody complied with the ADA originally they should not be penalized and be forced to comply with the current-- the new standards that will be coming in in about a month. So that was built to, that was built in to the ADA to assure that businesses who did it right the first time would be able to, you know, keep those until they modified or changed. Now if they didn''t comply then they would, as a modification, as a requirement, they would be required to modify that. And make it accessible because if it is over 54 inches it is not fully accessible to people with disabilities. Now that then when they go to change it, they would have to modify it to the 2010 standards if they are doing it after March 15th. [Caller 1]: Ok, I have one other quick question. And it kind of goes back to the Travelocity thing. I didnt get a chance to ask it, but I think it is a pretty good question. With the Travelocity thing, if you were to order a room through Travelcocity and you are not sure whether they did give you the appropriate room, is there a way that you can call the hotel directly after that and make sure that you got the correct room, but still be able to pay Travelocitys price?
Thanks for the question [Caller 1].
If you reserved it through Travelocity then you have that room reserved and quite honestly I do not-- I have not tried to do that myself, and actually that is something I may try and do the next time I travel to see what the process is. But I think you might be able to go to the hotel and say, Look, I reserved a room through Travelocity, I just want to confirm that it has the features. And they should be able to look up the room reservation and be able to confirm it. But I have not done that so I cannot, I cannot verify that for you.
Thank you. The next question comes from [Caller 1]. [Caller 1]: Hello. First I did it through Priceline and once I got the reservation I called the hotel itself and I made sure that the room was accessible and that was fine. So you should able to do that without any problems if it worked with Priceline. But my question is back to the mobility features. It is only one percent with the mobility, with the roll in shower, and then I wanted to know why is it five percent with the communications? And also, the bench-- it is not clear in here, does the bench just mean a bench or can it have a back and side arms also like a chair type bench?
Okay. Your first question was about the difference between the number of mobility accessible rooms and those with communication features. One thing, the communication features are not necessarily expensive to build into a facility. And the accessible features are much more expensive because of the space and configuration that they are doing. So I am presuming that that is why the Department of Justice does not have a huge number of accessible room features required.
And I think also Marian, the percentage of people with disabilities with communication disabilities is greater than the number of individuals with mobility disabilities.
With mobility. Although I think that as we get older we are going to find more and more baby boomers needing more and more accessible features. You are right.
People using mobility devices and wheelchairs are usually within ten to twelve percent, are some of the numbers that I have seen and sometimes as high as twenty five percent or more people with communication disabilities. Your second question was about the bench. When you are looking at let us say an accessible shower, an accessible tub, the requirement is that those features be built in to the facility. What you are talking about is if you prefer an accessible shower bench that is removable, that is not necessarily a requirement under the ADA. Ask customer service you can talk with them about getting a shower bench that would be placed in a tub or a roll in shower that might be easier for you to use. And we have actually on the hospitality website we have a shower bench that we would recommend that has accessible features such as a transfer bench so that it can be used in tubs and in showers. It has a back. It has suction cups to ensure that it does not move. It has a grab bar and it can be used right or left handed. But that is more of a customer service issue and not a -- not a physical requirement under the structural requirements of the ADA. [Caller 1]: Is there a need to get involved to make more changes in the future?
There is not going to be I think substantial changes, just my opinion of the accessibility standards for quite awhile. These changes have taken a number of years to happen and the ADA is 20 years old. So I do not think that we are going to see changes in the near future. [Caller 1]: Okay, and one more question. I am sorry. When you call the hotels and you ask them if they are accessible and they say yes, they are accessible but they do not have a hand-held shower, what do you do then? Because I had just got back, I went to Myrtle Beach and I went to Getlinburg and to find a hotel with a hand held shower it was almost impossible. I called at least 10 or 12 and found one.
Well the roll in showers are required to have a hand-held shower. [Caller 1]: Right [inaudible] They do not require hand held? I am talking big hotel, not just 50 rooms. We are talking hundreds of rooms. Cold and big hotels, resorts.
Thanks for your question.
They are not required to have a hand-held shower.
The roll in showers and I have got a question Marian from online. Someone wanted clarification asking, are not the 2010 scoping for communication rooms a reduction because in the 1991 standards it required all mobility accessible rooms to have communication features.
That is a great question. As I indicated there really is not a reduction. It is just separating them out so that they are not overlapping the mobility rooms. So what was happening and it did not make sense really, was that if you needed just a mobility features and not the - yeah, just the mobility features, you automatically got communication features. For those who needed a communication features they were going to be taking up a mobility room because that is where the communication features were. Now they are separating them out. So as we indicated there was a lot more people with communication needs and they do not need all the -- they do not need the accessible space near the toilet or roll in shower and accessible tub. They do not need any of that. They just need the vibrating alarm clock and the flashing light to indicate somebody at the door, et cetera. So that is so much easier to reserve and provide and then you are not taking up an accessible room because as we can see accessible rooms as we get more and more people with disabilities that affect their mobility those rooms are going to be more and more in demand. So they are separating them out. They are just not overlaying, but it is the same expectation for the number of accessibility features for communication.
Alright, great. Marian, why do not we go ahead to the next section and then when we get to the next question period we will take questions on all topics.
Terrific. We are going to talk about the 2010 standards for accessible design. So lodging built after March 15th, 2012 must comply with the 2010 standards including new sections, and these are laundry facilities. Never been covered before. Kitchens and kitchenettes. More and more of the hotels are going to mini suites and suites where they actually some have full kitchen and a lot of them have kitchenettes, so now we are looking at accessible features within that, that hotel room. And then recreation facilities. We have never had standards for swimming pools and spas, or saunas and steam rooms. We have never had accessibility standards for exercise facilities, golf courses, boating and fishing facilities and play areas for children and there are some hotels or some properties that might have actually all of these recreational facilities. But many even from budget hotels might have a play area for children, many of them have swimming pools and spas. Many facilities have exercise facilities. And so now we actually have standards. So now is there is a mandate for these new add-ons to the accessibility standards to meet the accessibility requirements. So this means that you are going to actually have the ability to participate if you have a mobility or communication difficulty, most of these are really causing the mobility issues to be able to participate in all of these recreational aspects as well as use the kitchen or kitchenette and if they have laundry facilities. The next slide, I am going to talk about how this -- how this plays out. Places of lodging that undergo planned alteration must comply with 2010 standards to the maximum extent feasible. That is important- maximum extent feasible. You have an existing facility and they are doing renovations and to make -- make sure that they have accessible rooms it may mean that they are going to have to do some standard -- some changes to allow the room to be fully accessible. But it may be that there is load bearing walls, so they may not be able to make a room as accessible as they would if it was newly built. An example would be putting in a pool lift. It may be that they are unable to put the pool lift in the most ideal spot because of some plumbing issues. So there may be physical issues that the site, the layout et cetera, will not allow an individual property to make the changes that they would like to make in order to make sure when doing renovations or alterations to make them fully accessible under the new 2010 standards that that they must do to the extent possible. On the next slide, for places of public lodging, before March 15th, 2012 we are looking at removal of architecture barriers when readily achievable. The [inaudible] of the issue that we talked about earlier and that was safe harbor. Safe harbor is for those elements that comply with the 1991 standards and as an example we use the 54 inch reach range. So if all of the reach ranges were perfect at 54 inches they do not have to change an existing facility and move everything to 48 inches until they start doing alterations or building new additional rooms or areas. Those new or additional rooms then have to be built fully accessible. But there is no safe harbor for elements with the new standards that didn''t exist before. Laundry facilities and kitchens, and recreational facilities, the swimming pools et cetera that we just talked about. So all of those for the first time, now have standards that is going to require them to be accessible. So we are looking at now pools. Looking to have accessibility features. Next slide, removing barriers, we talked about the fact that a hotel still has an ongoing obligation to remove barriers.
One second, can you make sure that all the phone lines are muted. I am hearing some background noise and I just want to make sure that everyone can hear Marian clearly. Thank you.
Okay, thanks Peter. Examples of readily achievable barrier removal might be making sure that if they have a high check in counter that they now have a lower one and it can be, you know, part of the original check in counter or it can be a side area that gets dropped down. Widening doorways is an easier thing to do. Installing grab bars behind and inside the toilet or next to the tub or roll in shower. Installing a pool lift, and this is a huge issue for the hotel industry who is not necessarily very happy with the Department of Justice and their new requirements to install a pool lift at each of the pools that they may have. I was in a hotel yesterday that actually did not have but will be required to have five separate pool lifts because they had an indoor pool and spa, outdoor hot tub, a child pool and a regular swimming pool outside. So they would be required to install five independently operated pool lifts for each of the pools that they had on property. Many hotels are very upset that they are not able to use portable pool lifts because again the standard is that they must be independently operated. So it is not something that you can pull out when somebody wants to use the pool. You should be able to use the pool just like everyone else does which means that you show up at the pool, you are able to transfer in to the accessible pool lift independently operate it and lower yourself in to the pool and be able to get back out of the pool. Now again hotels are not required to lift you, so you must be able to independently transfer in to that pool lift. But some properties because it may not be readily achievable because of the expense might be able to show that a removal pool lift is readily achievable for them because of the cost. There is a Department of Justice pool fact sheet that can be found on the Department of Justice website that was recently developed and released to the public about two weeks ago. You will also be able to find it on ADAhospitality.org. We talked about exercise rooms. One of the things that can easily be done although for some facilities it might mean removing a few of the exercise equipments in order to make sure that there is path of travel to each of the types of equipment that an exercise room has in a place of lodging. So you need to be able to get to the exercise bike. You need to be able to get to the track, the separate exercise machine. Whatever the exercise machine is if they have got five different types of machines you need to be able to get with an accessible path of travel to all sides. In the next slide, we are talking about service animals and someone asked about service animals. Many of you are aware that there is a new regulation. It identifies that service animals are dogs only. With the exception for miniature horse. So with dogs only a hotel cannot turn away a service animal that is a trained service animal. And as you know a trained service animal does not need to be trained by a specific company or entity but it has to be trained to do specific features for a person with a disability. It could be mobility. It could be vision. It could be a seizure dog. It could be a hearing alert dog. So there is lots of different services that a dog may be able to perform for folks with different disabilities. We were asked earlier about the release areas being able to identify where the release area is. So that is something that I would encourage-- even if you are using a service and they will say yes, we have release areas, you might want to call the hotel itself and say, you know, I bring in my service animal. Can you describe the release area around its location to the hotel room that I am reserving and to the hotel in general. The hotel cannot ask you for a deposit for the service animal. Many hotels may say that we except pets but there is a $25 cleaning deposit and once we have determined that there is no need for the cleaning deposit we will rebate you the cleaning deposit. They cannot do that for a service animal. The next slide, some of the strategies for success. If you know exactly what you need, for example, you need a room close to the elevator, a room on the first floor if that exists, many hotels do not have rooms on the first floor, but some do. If you need a room a with an accessible tub, or a roll in shower or the specific communication features, know exactly what that means so that when you are making a reservation, whether you are doing it through third party or the hotel reservation system, you can articulate that effectively. As we talked about earlier you may want to call and talk to the specific property and not through the central reservation center to make sure you get local information, or it might be just location to other venues that you are really interested in going to, but it might be that you have very specific questions that the property itself may be the only one that can answer for you. The next slide talks about asking for what you may need. And it might be that if you have specific needs, your insulin needs to be refrigerated, asking for a refrigerator be placed in the room. Many times for those folks with mobility needs, furniture needs to be moved. A traditional room usually has too much furniture to allow many people using mobility devices to be able to move freely and access all the features, especially getting to the wands to open and close drapes. There is often too many pieces of furniture in the way. So having somebody from the hotel, the bell man or hotel staff come up with you to the room, maybe orient you to the room if you have a vision disability tell you where things are. If you need furniture moved or removed, to be able to use it, oftentimes one of the things that could be done is to have an extension on to the wand to make the drapery fully accessible. Rolling the shower head wand, a lot of times it is placed at the very top which makes it inaccessible for those in a seated position. Having that dropped down so that it rests extended and you will be able to reach it. Looking at seeing if the blankets and pillows are placed at a lower level. So that somebody from the seated position can use it. For folks with communication accessible rooms, making sure that the communication equipment is connected and you are oriented to how it is operated to make sure it is fully accessible to you. The next slide talks about the ADA national network''s hospitality initiative and it is ADAhospitality.org and it is a website dedicated to the lodging industry and restaurant industry. Talking about accessible features, talking about training and materials. There are brochures and fact sheets. There are regulations, the new 2010 standards and all the new regulations from the Department of Justice they are listed there. There is a training package that anyone can use for both the lodging and restaurant industry with all the talking features so that you can actually just download that, have a Power Point and work with your local properties and restaurants to be able to provide accessible training on the features of the requirement of the ADA customer service issues, to assure that guests and patrons with disabilities are treated in a fair and equitable manner. There is lots of resources for the hotel industry itself. I mentioned one of them which was the shower chair, the shower bench removable bench that is not a requirement but a recommendation for an accessible transfer bench. So these are a lot of resources that are available free on our website that you might find of interest. Lastly if you have any questions about this, I know that we are not going to be able to reach all of your issues and concerns, we encourage you to call and visit the ADA national network''s website which is a ADAta.org or visit the hospitality initiative which is www.ADAhospitality.org or call your local ADA regional center which is 1-800-949-4232, voice and TTY. Call the Department of Justice 1-800-514-0301 voice, and 1-800-514-0383 TTY or visit them at www.ADA.gov. And for a lot of the structural issues that we discussed to call the United States (US) Access Board which is 1-800-872-2253 voice, 800-993-2822 TTY, or visit them on the web at access-board.gov. And now-- Peter I will turn it back to you and see if we have more questions.
Marian, we certainly have more questions than we are going to be able to get in the next ten, 11 minutes. One quick correction I want to make that the-- in the customer rooms that do have bathtubs a hand held shower unit is required in both the 1991 and the 2010 standards.
You are right, I am so sorry. I was focusing on-- you are so right. Thank you for correcting--.
Just wanted to get that out there to the folks at the [inaudible] site, we have got that for you. Well, Levita [the operator] get you in here in one second to let folks, if they do not already know how to get a question asked on the telephone, we are going to do that. Marian, we have a question that was submitted on line and this has to do with the compliance date and the question involved what happens if you have a hotel where the foundation is being poured on March 14th, 2012. What standards would they have to follow?
Peter, I am going to defer to you.
OK, yeah so between March 15th 2011 and March 14th, 2012 places of public accommodation had the option to choose to follow either the 1991 or the 2010 standards but any construction that -- and some other exceptions if a project, if a local jurisdiction requires that permits be certified, if the permit is certified on or before, prior to March 15th the entity still has the option to choose between 1991 and 2010. And in jurisdictions where permits are required but they are not certified, it is the actual physical receipt by the state, local county government, there is a local town, that takes place prior to March 15 the entity still has the option between 1991 and the 2010 standards. Those are the exceptions that may -- we may experience as we straddle the, you know, the compliance date coming up. Lavita [the operator] if you want to jump in here and get folks instructions again to get our first phone call up on the telephone please.
If you would like to ask a question please press the star and 1 key. We do have a question from [Caller 1]. Please proceed with your question. [Caller 1]: Hi. We have a question concerning slide 24 having to do with accessible features mobility. Can you talk about the need for 36 inches on each side of the bed or between the bed. And I am just curious whether we can use the requirements of Title III for a modification in policy practice and procedure to ask that they lower the bed. All the hotels now are putting in these pillow top beds that are like climbing Mt. Everest and there is a requirement that they have place under the bed for a Hoyer lift and we are seeing that that is not often complied with but if there is it is usually some kind of frame and the bed can in fact be lowered by removing that frame. Is that something that they would be required to do as a modification in policy, practice or procedure?
You can certainly ask them to do that as a need for your accessibility. Unfortunately there is no bed height requirement yet. The Department of Justice is looking at that now and is putting out regulations per comments on that. So what it means is you can call them and, you know ask them about the bed height. Many of them only have platforms. They do not have any beds -- you can ask them if they would modify that and be able to bring in an accessible, you know, platform free bed to do so as a readily achievable but, you know, it is difficult to mandate that. It is not a requirement under the ADA but you can ask them to do that as a modification. It is very challenging for many people currently who travel with Hoyer lifts to find a hotel that actually does have the features of a bed frame that is open and underneath and as you said also many many of the hotels are going to the luxury pillow tops and it can be -- it is like climbing Mt. Everest. So sometimes you can ask them to remove the box spring and be able to bring the bed down to a lower height and see if they will remove some of the pillow tops. Sometimes they are removable and that is one of the things that you might want to call each local property to see what they are able to do, what the bed height is and what modifications they can make to make it accessible. Sometimes they can actually if it is not a platform they can actually put some of those on the floor and it still may be an acceptable height for transferring if you are using a mobility device.
Alright, Marian, we have a question from online. Someone wanted a definition of what you mean by alteration that would trigger compliance ,you know, after March 15th with the 2010 standards.
So if there-- a lot of times they will go in and renovate or alter a room to upgrade it and that means not just painting but if they are tearing up the carpet, they are making changes in different other portions of the room, then they would have to comply with the 2010 standards. So it is not just painting. But if they are doing other structural tearing up the carpet, et cetera, then that would trigger the need for the alteration.
Right, so talking about the stuff that affects the usability of the space. Another -- I get a service animal question for you real quick. You talked about the prohibition against placing surcharges and the questioner wanted to know what if the service animal does cause damage to the room. Could the hotel charge the guest in that instance?
If I am not mistaken, if the animal does charge then they could ask for a cleaning fee. They just cannot mandate that you put a deposit on the room prior.
If there was destruction I am pretty sure they would be able to ask for something to compensate. Peter, do you--?
Right, I mean, it would be the same, whatever the policy they have in place for guests without disabilities that cause damages in the room they could, you know, charge that person with a disability using a service animal, where the service animal caused damage to the room. Levita [operator] do we have one more question on the telephone? Again, I apologize folks, lots of great questions coming in, we are not going to be able to get to all of them. But can we take, Levita, one more by telephone before we get to the bottom of the hour?
Our last question comes from [Caller 2]. Caller 2]: Hello. One of the things I wanted to ask you Marian is about transporting. I notice that on the website you do say something about having equivalent service for the shuttles back and forth to the airport and so forth, but I do not see that on your Power Point on your website and you have not mentioned that today.
Good point. We were trying to focus on what the newer standards were but if they operate let us say a van service to and from the airport, they are required to, based on the size of the van, small vans would not be - but larger vans would require to have equivalent service. A lot of hotels do not but sometimes they will either cooperate with neighboring hotels or will order an accessible van service for you or coordinate with a local accessibility service to provide you equivalent service. So they cannot charge you for-- maybe they have arranged for an accessible taxi to come and take you to the airport because their van service was not accessible. They cannot charge you for that cost if they offer it free to all of their other guests.
All right. Great, Marian, thanks for all the fabulous information that you provided to us today. We appreciate it, appreciate it greatly. Just as a quick reminder the ADA national network is presenting a six part webinar series on lodging and the new reservation requirements as well as the new accessibility requirements as they apply to the lodging industry and that is something that the ADA national network is doing in collaboration with the American Hotel and Lodging Association as well as the Asian American Hotel Owners Association. The next -- the second session in that six part series takes place tomorrow. You can get scheduling information and register on line by visiting www.adaconferences.org/Lodging. Capital L-o-d-g-i-n-g, just the L is capital. So you can-- a lot of the questions that may not have had answered today are going to come up over the next five sessions and all of those are being archived, as well as today''s session, an archive of todays session will be made available on the audio conference website, www.ada-audio.org, select the audio conference series and then archives and you will find an archive of today''s session in approximately ten business days. I ask you to come back and join us on March the 20th where we will look at a different aspect involving service animals. So we will be looking at service animals in the post secondary education setting. So once again you can get scheduling information and register online for that upcoming session and all future audio conference sessions by visiting www.ada-audio.org, and selecting the audio conference series, or by calling us at 877-232-1990 voice or TTY. So once again we want to thank you for joining us today and participating. Hope all of you have a great day, and again thanks to Marian Vessels for the excellent presentation and all of the information that she provided to us today. For those of you in the webinar room you can exit the webinar platform by simply closing your Internet browser. Thank you, and take care.