ADA Accessibility Summary for Swimming Pools

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. On September 15, 2010, the ADA Guidelines finalized on July 23, 2004 (ADAAG 2004) were signed into law. Compliance is now required by all Title II (Public Entities) and Title III (Public Accommodations and Commercial Entities) entities. This includes recreation facilities, swimming pools, wading pools and spas.

ADA accessibility regulations cover both public and private swimming pool facilities. This includes pools operated by public park and recreation districts, hotels and motels, fitness and recreational sports clubs, country clubs, high schools and universities, waterparks, hospitals and health care facilities. ADA regulations may also apply to private residential pool facilities, such as homeowners, apartment and condo associations, if these swimming pools are open to the general public.

ADA guidelines provide the specification of certain accessible elements in the design of new and renovated facilities to ensure that individuals with disabilities are generally able to access swimming pools and spas and use a variety of features of the facility. The guidelines are the minimum level of accessibility required and are encouraged to be exceeded where possible to increase opportunities.

Summary ADA Accessibility Guidelines: Permitted Means of Swimming Pool Access

Pool TypeSloped EntryLiftTransfer WallsTransfer SystemsStairs
Swimming Pools with less than 300 Lineal Feet of Pool WallXX
Swimming Pools - 300 or more Lineal Feet of Pool Wall - 2 means of entry
  X* X*XXX
Wave Action, Leisure River, Other Pools where User Entry is Limited to 1
Wading PoolsX  
Spas XXX 

* Requires two means of access. Primary means must be by sloped entry or pool lift; secondary means can be any of the permitted types.

Full Final ADA Guidelines for Swimming Pools

Details of required ADA specifications for swimming pool facilities and equipment.