Disability Community Protests American Hotel and Lodging Association


In June, 2012, hundreds of disability activists gathered togetherand demanded that the trade group stop their lobbying efforts to block equal access to America’s swimming poolsin front of the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHandLA).The American Association of People with Disabilities, ADAPT, the National Council on Independent Living, and the National Disability Rights Network coordinated this event.

For the past three months, AHandLA has waged a full-scale lobbying effort to stop the Department of Justice (DOJ) from enforcing federal law requiring that make hotel swimming pools and spas fully accessible to people with disabilities, calling such enforcement “unreasonable.” This regulation would require hotels to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a federal law passed 22 years ago, by ensuring that their facilities are accessible for people with disabilities.

Originally scheduled to go into effect on March 15, 2012, the rule was stalled when the hotel industry, led by AHandLA, launched an offensive to block it.

“Let’s be clear on what this is really about: giving people with disabilities less than other customers who pay for a hotel room,” said AAPD President and CEO Mark Perriello. “In America, we don’t treat any group of people differently. That’s called discrimination. The American Hotel and Lodging Association and its member hotels are flexing their muscles to get our government’s permission to treat us as second-class customers.Well, guess what?We have power, too.We’re not waiting on the sidelines. And we’re not going to let them spend our money to do it.”

Posted by Markus Micheaels