Changes in training are crucial to operating under the new ADA standards.
Kevin Buchanan, GM of the Hilton Garden Inn Providence, Warwick, R.I., recommends continuous training for employees on a quarterly basis, rather than the recommended annual training session. Specific aspects of training are frequently addressed during these quarterly sessions.
“With the new modifications [to the ADA], employees can no longer ask for paperwork on animals designated as service animals,” Buchanan said. “Before, the animal would be wearing an identifier, but now they don’t, and we don’t have to check their credentials. As a hotel that doesn’t allow pets, we have to constantly train for that.”
Marian Goodman, CEO of Sky Hospitality, emphasizes the need for a service culture in employees to create an environment that is welcoming to those with accessibility needs. “This culture shows through architecture, with lowered sides at front desk for accessibility being available for a long time,” Goodman said.
Minh Vu, partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLC, pointed out that hotel companies begin to use the 2010 Standards, a number of ambiguities in the 2010 Standards have come up.
“There is confusion over what is or is not exempt,” Vu said.