Are Accessible Hotel Rooms Better – The most amazing lesson I learned from my 82-year-old mother’s stroke was what people with mobility issues can face when they need to stay at one of the country’s 54,000+ hotels.
My knowledge comes from transporting my mother by car (paralysis means no flying even just before the outbreak of the corona virus), so that she could live with my sister and her family. The six-day trip introduced us to the so-called disabled rooms, which we sometimes found, to our dismay, that:
Are Accessible Hotel Rooms Better
Despite the rooms being classified as accessible for people with disabilities, only two of the six hotels we stayed in were actually equipped and met all the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the main law passed in 1990 to make prevented discrimination of persons with disabilities.
Parkland Accessible King
“The ADA is the strongest nondiscrimination law in the world,” Stacy Cervenka, director of grants for the Nebraska Agency for the Blind and Visually Impaired, who is also blind, told The Points Guy website. “However… there are many companies and organizations that still either don’t know what the law is or think they can get away with not following the law.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 25% of American adults – 61 million – have a disability that affects major life activities. About 14% of them (one in seven American adults) are impaired. And people over the age of 65 are six times more likely to have some form of disability, according to AbiliTrek Consulting, a Washington state firm that evaluates accessibility businesses.
The ADA aims to ensure that people with disabilities have equal opportunities and benefits in ways that affect quality of life, including public and commercial accommodations, which include hotel accommodations.
ADA hotel regulations contain several key elements: the required minimum number of rooms for persons with disabilities – from one to 20 per facility – based on the total number of hotel rooms; minimum distance of corridors, ramps, entrances to rooms and bathroom doors; shower and toilet (handrails, showers, minimum space for wheelchairs) and communication equipment for people with hearing and sight impairments. A roll-in shower is one that has a tile floor attached to the bathroom floor; it doesn’t require guests to get into the tub to shower, and it doesn’t have a raised lip that could be a problem for someone in a wheelchair.
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A stay-at-home writer mother plans to move out and live with one of her daughters | Credit: Rebecca Su
Despite the legal rules, my travels with my mother have shown that hotels often ignore the law or follow it to the letter (but not really), leaving many disabled travelers and their relatives in the trash.
Although I asked several hotels down the street about showers, we were only able to spare two of the six properties we stayed at. This was a big deal because my mother hadn’t recovered enough from her stroke to get in the tub to take a bath.
“Not all hotels that say they’re accessible will have the features that many wheelchair users need to function properly,” states Curb-Free with Cory Lee, a site of tips and information for travelers with disabilities. “That’s why it’s important to ask specifically if it’s a shower in one or a bathtub.”
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Even when his employer called to confirm that the hotel room he needed for a business trip would include a shower, Daman Wandke arrived to find the room did not. He had to visit three hotels at his destination to find someone who was.
“If the hotels don’t even know what they have, how will we know what the accommodation will be like when we arrive?” Wandke, founder and CEO of AbiliTrek, asked during a Tedx Talk he gave in 2018.
In our case, one of the handicap rooms my mother and I stayed in was on the first floor, which eliminated the need for the sometimes arduous climb up the small elevator.
Even the room, however, is the closest to the hotel entrance. This means I have to move my mum’s wheelchair and our luggage a lot more than I would if the room was better.
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Also, the bathroom is not very organized and I can’t close the door unless I’m sitting on the toilet or standing in the tub. This meant my mom left the door open to get the walker she needed to get in and out of the bathroom.
Most of the beds in the rooms we stayed in were too high for my mother to get in or out of without me lifting her up. Bed height is not addressed in the ADA, unfortunately many people with disabilities often mention it.
“People with disabilities traveling for pleasure or business must be able to count on having a room reserved for them.”
“The only place where bed height is mandatory is in prison,” Guy John Morris, an avid traveler and triple amputee who runs WheelchairTravel.org, sadly told The Points. “So if you’ve ever been arrested and you’re in a wheelchair, you can be very lucky that you can easily go to jail.”
Deciding Factors When Booking An Accessible Hotel
Speaking of beds, many hotels now have platform or box beds, which do not accommodate wheelchairs or the lift that some wheelchair users need.
In order to provide more space for wheelchairs and walkers in small rooms, some hotels have replaced two beds with one double bed. However, due to mobility difficulties and disabled people sometimes traveling with non-partner carers or family members (as was the case with my mother), this can create problems that disability rights activists often face. . Some hotels will not offer a second bed in the wardrobe due to local fire safety restrictions.
Hoping that my Hilton frequent guest status would get a higher priority for my mom and I, I booked rooms on our trip at company-owned properties. But after the first night in a room that was anything but comfortable, I stopped relying on the Hilton reservation app and started calling.
This often leads to extended calls where the national reservation center refers me to individual properties to determine which room features are mobile.
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This action is required to violate the law that Hilton filed with the United States Department of Justice in 2010. It addresses provisions of the ADA including:
“The ADA protects the right of people with disabilities to stay in accessible hotel rooms and to have those hotel rooms accessible,” said Tom Perez, Deputy Attorney General of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. They are suitable for everyone.” at the time it was passed. “Passengers with disabilities traveling for pleasure or business must be able to count on a reserved room, and the hotel must provide a selection of amenities that everyone expects from the country’s leading hotels such as Hilton.
Still facing these problems, the New Jersey family sued Hilton last year. Erika Symmonds filed a lawsuit against the company and property in Mahwah, N.J. Homewood Suites on behalf of his 94-year-old grandmother.
Family double occupancy disabled friendly rooms that weren’t available when Symmonds’ grandmother moved in. With no choice but to live in rooms without amenities, it created a difficult and humiliating environment for her, the lawsuit alleges.
Holiday Inn Fu’an
“The main thing here is not the number of rooms that can be entered, but the understanding that if you book one of these rooms, that the room matches the information you have provided. The rooms are actually available when the guest looks inside,” said Symmonds’ attorney Javier L. Merino for Next Avenue.
Hilton representatives did not respond to an emailed request to speak with the company’s communications staff.
Call the specific hotel and ask questions, as well as write down what the hotel representatives say when you book the room. Find out their names too.
“At a time when many people are caring for elderly relatives or other relatives with disabilities, hotels must provide the legally required services that families need,” Symmonds said in a statement when she filed for bankruptcy and its scope. An affordable hotel bathroom is basically the same, that’s right. ? No, it’s not like that! While one hotel brand may implement a specific design across multiple (sometimes hundreds) properties, each hotel is built by a different contractor and inspected by a different law enforcement agency.
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In this article, I will focus on several design elements that can be found in hotel bathrooms. I’ll start by listing examples of ADA compliance and then look at some of the ways hotels have messed up (or cut corners, if you’re a little less creative). So let’s get started!
If you need an ADA-accessible room with a walk-in shower, here are some examples of suitable shower types and fixtures.
The shower pictured above, at The Westin Cleveland Downtown, is ADA compliant. Attached to the shower cabin is a seat that folds from the side wall. A handheld spray shower unit and water control are nearby
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