Accessibility means being that everyone has access!
Now that restrictions have lifted and life is slowly but surely getting back to some sort of normal. Things like a shopping spree with friends, or even a mini-break along the coast are on the cards.
There truly isn’t anything like getting away for a bit. It is our chance to break away from the norm and let our hair down.
Unfortunately, being able to get away like this can’t happen for everyone. The beautiful hotel rooms that many of us may be used to are not always accessible to everyone. Having spoken with our customers over the years, we have found that those disabled people or those with limited mobility like wheelchair users can be left angry and disappointed due to the lack of accessibility in the vast majority of hotel rooms.
From speaking with our customers, we have learned that many have found their hotel rooms to be lacking. It can be hard to unwind and relax when you start your break away on such a negative.
Accessible Hotel Rooms
When an accessible hotel room is being designed, it is generally done with the best of intentions. Unfortunately, there is one crucial member that many forget to bring in on the decision process. The person who the room is designed for!
Having spoken with a number of customers, we have gathered a list of issues they have come across in their accessible hotel rooms and how they left them feeling. This is in now way calling out or throwing shade at anyone, we simply want to help make life more accessible for all.
In some hotels, not all of them, the base boards in the doorways are raised. This makes perfect sense to help exclude a draft but it can make it impossible to get a wheelchair over with help. This can be made even more difficult if the doorways aren’t wide enough.
How upset would you be knowing that you have to go through an ordeal every time you want to leave or go back to you hotel room?
Sadly, we’ve heard that the bathroom doors have had to be removed in order for some to gain access to the toilet, shower etc. While you may be sharing a room, how relaxed can you feel when your privacy is removed? This can make an uncomfortable stay, don’t you think?
Showers & Baths
Getting into or out of a shower or bath can be difficult for disabled people, this can sometimes force them to accept that they may not be able wash up and relax on their stay away. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t be able to unwind without being able to wash up.
Height of Beds
Not looking into the appropriate height or the bed or adjustable beds can make life difficult and potentially upsetting for disabled people in a room that is supposed to be accessible for them. Imagine not being able to get in and out of bed by yourself? You would need to ask for help every time. Who would be there to help if you where there alone?
Forgetting to look into the actual height of the bed cab make things difficult and potentially upsetting for a disabled person. Not being able to get into or out of their bed without a considerable amount of help – who would they be able to call if they are there alone?
Where The Room Is
It’s great to see that there are more and more accessible rooms entering the market. However, as they weren’t thought of when many hotels where being built, it means many of them were add-ons and probably far away from:
- Hotel Entrance/Exits
- Hotel Restaurant
This can make it harder to access and get to. In many hotels, hallways are fitted with carpets and rugged floors. This can be a nightmare for a wheelchair user.
The Common Areas
Sometimes it’s not just the hotel room that is inaccessible, the common areas can have issues too. The bar, cafe, restaurant, swimming pool and spa may not be accessible for a wheelchair user either. With narrow doorways, raised thresholds and lacking help with facilities this can cause a lot of tension.
Now, from some, not all, we have heard that there is an overall lack of consideration and awareness displayed by managers and their staff.
Some staff are not aware of what exactly is in the accessible hotel room. Others may not even know where they are on the premises. This is guaranteed to create a sense of exclusion which can take the disabled person to the edge of despair.
What Can You Do In The Hospitality Industry?
When planning out an accessible room for disabled people, it is not too much to ask to be considered and taken into account when its a room specifically designed for them.
One thing we can certainly recommend is that you don’t forget about assistive technology when designing these rooms. This would involve mobility aids to make like easier such as a reaching arm beside the bed, or the Uccello Kettle on the coffee table.