Finding a good wheelchair accessible hotel can be a daunting task. With so many places to choose from disabled travelers need a quick way to compare hotels and find the one that can accommodate their special needs. Following the few simple trip planning steps below can make the difference between a great vacation or a frustrating trip for a disabled person.
1. Narrow your list of hotels
While wheelchair accessibility is the top priority for a disabled traveler, many travel agents and travel reservation sites forget that a person with a disability has other needs too. In addition to good wheelchair access disabled travelers are also interested in things such as a swimming pool, restaurants in the hotel, pet accommodation, and internet access. WhenWeTravel offers a Wheelchair Accessible Hotel Search as a disability travel resource to help disabled people narrow the list of hotels to the ones with all their special needs. Travelers can use it to pick a destination and check off all the amenities they require. WhenWeTravel currently has a list of over 37,000 wheelchair accessible hotels from destinations all around the world. A disabled traveler can use the hotel search to get a narrow list of hotels to be used for calling the hotel directly.
2. Call the hotel directly and ask some questions
By asking a few questions a disabled traveler can quickly determine if the hotel is disability friendly.
Does the hotel provide any special disability services? Make this the FIRST QUESTION asked. Let the hotel staff explain what they have to offer. Their response will immediately indicate their experience and desire in assisting disabled travelers.
What floor are the wheelchair accessible rooms on? It is important to be near the first floor in case of an emergency where the elevators are not in service.
Are the rooms ADA compliant?
Can the beds and other furniture be moved in order to make the room more comfortable and accessible?
Does the hotel provide a wheelchair accessible shuttle to nearby tourist attractions and public transportation?
Is disabled or handicap parking available for your car or van?
3. Listen "between the lines"
A disabled traveler should be listening for clues that indicate the hotel has a good understanding of the difficulties faced by an individual with a disability. If the reservation desk at the hotel is knowledgeable about ADA requirements such as wheel chair accessible passages, counter heights, door hardware, bathroom fixtures, and roll in showers there is a good chance they frequently serve disabled guests. However, be wary of a hotel manger that seems to promise too much. If the hotel seems too good to be true...it probably is.
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