If you are in a wheelchair, you may feel as if there is much less that you can do, and that hotel stays are definitely out of the questions. However, it is very much possible to find handicap accessible hotels, but it is important that you know what to look for. All people with disabilities are guaranteed the same basic rights as able-bodied people under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), implemented in 1990. As good as this Act is, however, it didn’t really address how hotels could be completely compliant with it. Hence, there are a few things that you have to consider to make sure you have a comfortable stay.
Things to Look for in Handicap Accessible Hotels
Start by doing some research so you can narrow your choices down. Find a comparison website that you are comfortable with, and filter your results by wheelchair accessible hotels. Once you have a list of hotels that advertise as wheelchair accessible, you need to further filter your results my amenities such as a pool, pet-friendly accommodation, internet access, on site restaurants, and so on.
Next, you need to contact the hotel itself. You should be able to get some good information from the websites, but not everything. Ask them:
- Whether their wheelchair accessible rooms are compliant with the ADA act. If they say it is, ask them how. Things such as handicap bathrooms, wide turning areas and doorways, and roll in showers, are all important.
- Whether there is handicap parking on site, and how many spaces there are. You also have to find out how far it is from the hotel itself.
- Whether there is a shuttle service for people in wheelchairs to nearby attractions. If not, you may find it more difficult to get around, as parking at popular attractions is often very difficult.
- Whether they offer specialized services for people with disabilities. This will show you how experienced they are in offering hotel services to people in wheelchairs.
Once you have looked into these issues, you have to consider the emergency procedures. Ask on which floor you will be placed. Ground floor rooms are obviously the best. If you are not on the ground floor, it is even more important that you know what the appropriate emergency procedure is for you.
One of the reasons why you should contact the hotel directly, is because it will also give you an indication of how friendly the staff is. They should be confident and comfortable in their conversations with you, and give you the peace of mind that you will be well looked after. If you find staff to be rude, uneducated, or rushed, they will probably not have the patience to deal with you properly when you are there either. This is an important consideration.
Yes, researching different hotels is quite a time-consuming task. However, it is important that you find something that is suitable for you needs. Whether you are on quick stopover or aim to stay for an entire vacation, these are all vital issues.