As an American hotelier, I am asking you to sign the petition at the AAHOA website.

The Department of Justice's (DOJ) has an overly burdensome interpretation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as it pertains to pool lifts. Specifically, the DOJ asserts hotels and other places of public accommodation must purchase and install more expensive permanent pool lifts at each pool and spa on the premises when equally effective, safer, and less expensive alternative pool lift options are available to serve our guests.

As a member of the hospitality industry, I strive to provide an enjoyable experience for all of my guests - including guests with disabilities. I support the ADA and am diligently working on making the necessary modifications to make sure my hotel is in compliance by the March 15, 2012 deadline.

Many hoteliers like me have raised questions about the ADA pool lift requirements and placed orders upon vendors' assurances that their models were ADA compliant. The DOJ offered its interpretation of the ADA rules on January 31, 2012 - giving us less than two months to change our orders and install these permanent pool lifts that require costly construction.

The Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), my industry's trade association, sent a letter to the DOJ explaining that portable pool lifts provide the assistance guests with disabilities need, and reduce the risk to children who may become injured playing on permanent lifts. The DOJ refused to reconsider its interpretation or offer hoteliers any flexibility in making their pool areas ADA compliant.

Senator John Boozman (R-AR) and Representative Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) are circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter urging the DOJ to take a more reasonable stance that will effectively serve the needs of guests with disabilities and is reasonably achievable for small business owners like me in this difficult economy. Specifically, the letter requests that the DOJ:

1) Extend the compliance deadline by 180 days,
2) Allow the use of portable pool lifts at hotels, and
3) Permit the sharing of a portable pool lift between multiple pools at a single hotel.

As an American hotelier, I am asking you to sign the petition at the AAHOA website. Thank-you for your support.