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Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 34,254
reviews: 54
Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

ACCESSIBILITY CHECKLIST FOR HOTEL ACCOMMODATION

Accessibility is not standardized in the hotel industry and can be easily interpreted in different ways by hotel employees. Rather than look for “wheelchair friendly” hotels in the forums, have your criteria and needs ready and deal with the hotel directly. Often hotel websites will show that they have accessible rooms, but their definitions may differ widely and they may not be designed to meet your needs. At this point, you call directly.

Some things to ask a hotel:

Common areas:

1. designated handicap parking with a priority location in the parking lot.

2. step free access (level or ramped) and/or lift access to main entrance.

3. automated door opening.

4. ground level/lobby level accessible washroom.

5. elevator to above ground accessible accommodation.

6. level or ramped access to public areas.

Rooms:

1. wider entry and bathroom doorways – external 80 cm, internal 75 cm. Easy to open?

2. mid-height light switches and power outlets

3. lever type door handles

4. maneuvering space on each side of the bed – 90 cm

5. roll in shower

6. wheeled shower chair and/or wall mounted shower seat

7. grab bars in bathroom

8. raised toilet

9. lower hanging space in closet

Neighbourhood:

1. proximity to markets, pubs, restaurants ... up to 500 m distant.

2. proximity to health services.

Tips:

1. Call hotel directly.

2. Keep notes: names, dates, times, topics, what’s agreed and confirmation numbers. Take these notes and print outs with you on your vacation.

3. Ask to talk to someone who is familiar with handicap rooms because they have been in them.

4. Ask questions that will elicit information rather than a yes or a no.

- Describe ...

- Tell me about ...

5. Check that you have a credit card GUARANTEE for an accessible room and a confirmation number. Not just a REQUEST for an accessible room if available at the time of check in.

6. Reconfirm your reservation for a guaranteed accessible room a couple of days ahead.

7. When you arrive, check out the room before you check in.

8. Again, take your notes and print outs with you on your vacation.

More tips:

Be prepared, in the unlikely event that:

1. the hotel does not have the accessible room available for you when you arrive. The hotel will need to find you an accessible room, even in another hotel. (See #6 just above) “Where will you put us up for the night?”

2. the complimentary hotel shuttle may not be accessible. The hotel will need to accommodate the service in some other way. “How will you provide alternate shuttle service for us?”

Be cool, be persistent, use a sense of humour and your vacation will be much more a pleasure than a nightmare.

Sydney, Australia
posts: 19,253
reviews: 50
21. Re: Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

I did ask a member on the Venice Forum who worked as a concierge in a Venetian hotel to check with his fellows and see if they could come up with info on accessible venetian hotels. He was very enthusiastic but so far I haven't seen any result.

I might add that the commune of Venice (amazingly) has some excellent accessibility info on their website and the neatest little tour itineraries that are annotated with transport, access notes and general information. They will post to you if you ask.

…venezia.it/flex/…1381

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary, TripAdvisor Support
posts: 23,346
reviews: 66
22. Re: Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

I'm coming to this discussion late because RescueTeam linked the thread in another forum. One thing which I will do to help with this is to start a wiki (TripAdvisor Traveller Article) for my destination, Calgary. I've been keeping a list of reviews with feedback on accessibility issues for particular businesses, so I can quickly compile that information into a wiki. If other folks are interested in doing the same for destinations that they know about, I suggest the standardised title, "<Destination>: Travelers with Disabiliites". The Traveller Articles always put the name of the destination as part of the article title, so you just need to title the article "Travelers with Disabilities". I'll include a link to this thread and this forum.

I admit that I don't have a ton of information at the moment, but with wikis, the main thing is to get started, and to let other people know that their contributions are also welcome.

Edited: 10:40 am, February 26, 2011
Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary, TripAdvisor Support
posts: 23,346
reviews: 66
23. Re: Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

And here's a link to the first draft of the Traveller Article:

tripadvisor.ca/Travel-g154913-c154544/Calgar…

Your feedback would be appreciated.

San Diego, CA
posts: 1,147
reviews: 11
24. Re: Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

Bravo CW!! I don’t expect to visit Calgary, but this is just the sort of info I look for. Good job!

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 34,254
reviews: 54
25. Re: Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

CW ~ that TA is just a great idea. As each disabled traveller will have unique needs, perhaps provide a link to this checklist. When one reviewer says that a room or bathroom is spacious, that alone doesn't make it universally accessible (i.e. perhaps no roll-in shower?) It certainly helps people further investigate that property or restaurant and may reduce their search time.

I notice the comments about bathrooms at the Stampede. I would just like to add that handicapped facilities are not always in the Men's or Women's washrooms. They may be so at the Stampede but the comment says Canadian toilets. In Canada, they are equally likely to be a separate room, between the two, that easily takes a wheelchair and attendant.

I don't feel comfortable editing a TA in a location out of my knowledge base (Calgary), but will mention these two points here for the benefit of those needing mobility adaptations. This TA is a great start for Calgary.

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary, TripAdvisor Support
posts: 23,346
reviews: 66
26. Re: Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

MM&M - I meant to include that link, but it slipped my mind. Thanks for the reminder - it's done now!

And in Calgary, I would estimate - off the top of my head - that 50% of all public washrooms don't include the separate, non-gendered handicapped washroom. I'll start keeping my eyes open and adding notes as I go about my daily routines.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 34,254
reviews: 54
27. Re: Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

CW ~ thanks for adding the link. It will be very helpful to direct people to this forum.

Just to be devil's advocate. You say that about <<50% of all public washrooms don't include the separate, non-gendered handicapped washroom.>> which means that 50% actually do! (the glass is half full??) But it's true, they are not everywhere. I notice them in newer buildings here. It depends on the age of the building and the attitude of the owners. It's pretty much the luck of the draw. But I do think it is perhaps a bit misleading to say without a proviso, in the Tr Article, that in CANADA washrooms are found in the men's and ladies' when that particular comment applies to comments about the STAMPEDE. Just my thoughts.

Burlington, Vermont
posts: 1
reviews: 14
28. Re: Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

Hello,

This is a great idea. I have not ventured into the wiki world at this point, but it sounds like a good start. I travel for work and family about 3-4x/year. In the last 3 years I've compiled a spreadsheet of info on different hotels and restaurants (focused on w/c accessibility). I have done the same for stores, hotels, restaurants in my area (Burlington, VT). I need to be careful about a time commitment, but would be happy to contribute to a wiki or some other forum once I determine the best way to navigate it. Right now I have info on St. Petersburg Fl, Boston, Providence RI, Dublin, Ireland, Waterford Ireland, Sarasota NY. It is not a lot of info, but typically at least a hotel and 1-2 restaurants.

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary, TripAdvisor Support
posts: 23,346
reviews: 66
29. Re: Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

bump

www.tripadvisor.ca/help/what_does_bump_mean

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary, TripAdvisor Support
posts: 23,346
reviews: 66
30. Re: Accessibility Checklist for Hotel Accommodation

bump