Accessible Room Evaluations

From a community member:

I have stayed at hotels claiming to offer accessible rooms and have sometimes found them to be anything but. Sometimes too narrow, with bathrooms too small and lacking showers with seating and hand controls, too low toilets lacking grip bars. I have found some hotels claiming accessible rooms having nothing but a single grab bar, sometimes misplaced.

What would be great is if rooms were reviewed for accessibility and only those that pass the test are honestly billed as accessible rooms.

Can this be done?

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I agree 100%. A simple fix would be to hire a consultant, or two, to provide valuable input on a design that makes sense. I recognize there are various levels of disabilities but this can be done. Perhaps Patch and his team can be influential in some way.

100% in agreement as well!
Did a road trip last summer and the best one ( joking) was a name brand hotel that to make the room accessable put a shower chair in the tub … The drain hole were clogged with an unknown sludge! Biological substance, soap, and more are my guess!
Manager on duty and I had an interesting conversation that night!
A thought, make a page where folks can provide reviews on hotels, just the facts so anyone on this site will know where to go and where to avoid.

With you 100%. I’d love to see hotel reviews regarding bed height, sink and shower access, door opening, seating, lighting, etc. etc. etc.!!! I have plenty of stories, as do most of us.

Not only can this be done, but it should be done–speaking from experience as a “right fighter” for all folks who suffer an injustice (yeah, I’m a retired Social Worker), people need more education about the needs for accessible anything. Many think it is just a grab bar-- the national standards-- oh wait there are no national standards. And who will pay for the increase in accessibility? The consumer pays by higher prices and then that results in differently abled people having less enjoyment of life.

The laws that mandate certain types of hotels pretty much prevent improvement by the high prices of materials used. To completely equip for all different abled will cost millions of dollars that they cant re-coup. Federal groups are not incentivized much to make the necessary changes only until the law changes. The only people who change laws are lawyers. Lawyers who are in political parties. So, best start with a local group like the Council on Aging-most states and cities have them-- in that group you can meet others who feel the same about accessibility issues, then learn about how to change laws, find all your representative in your community and talk about it non-stop (no, Im not kidding). The squeeky wheel gets the most oil, somebody who is looking for a name in politics will most likely b the one-- then there is testifying in local government as a consumer with needs. So, its a learning thing. I joined a group in Indiana called Partners in Policymaking in 2001 as a person with a disability and learned how to hone my craft of “speaking out”-its a learning process but very doable. Contact your local ADA, Consumer Protection Agency, Attorney Generals office, ARC, other differently abled groups and join them-- there is power in numbers. Most of all–NEVER GIVE UP!!

I agree hard to deal with such an issue …quite a disappointment…I have felt like I have been duped sometimes.

I agree with the specifics noted in every review. My spouse and I just completed a 5,000 miles road trip. Stayed at several different hotel chains and the accommodations varied in every stay. Many individuals running theses facilities just don’t have a standard as guidance. I believe many individuals just don’t understand disability needs unless they live with a disability or care for someone with a disability. It’s not just hotels, it’s everywhere, rest areas, restaurants, airlines, airports, trains, train stations and shopping areas. I believe reviews need to be more specific with details. I found Hilton Garden Inns to be the worst, for example, having all their accessible rooms on the sixth floor at their Des Moines, Iowa location. If there’s a fire, elevators shut down, I’m wheelchair bound, how do I get out safely? Most places put you on the first floor if your wheelchair bound. I don’t have answer on how to resolve, but continuance of specific reviews and writing to advocate groups supports awareness and possible action.

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I have often thought about being a consultant. Most places want to make accessible facilities, they are just uninformed. I went to a restaurant recently and my friend said the bathroom was very accessible. It would have been true if there hadn’t been high chairs in the hall and the door weren’t propped open with a rubber door stopper on the floor. It was a big room with proper hand rails, but I couldn’t close the door. Sometimes the fix is simple, they just don’t know. Let’s start our own agency. :smiley:

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This is a problem I have encountered so many times. It seems to be that many hotels put a chair in the step in shower and call it accessible. One can complain and suggest to management, or chain hotels HQ, but nothing except an apology usually results…
I would recommend everyone coming across this problem to make public comments on Trip Advisor etc pointing out the falseness of the accessible claim. If nothing else it could prevent someone else from being disappointed.

I concur. I once booked a room in February for last of May. Was guaranteed an accessible room. What a joke. Arrived abd checked in and front desk said oh yes it is accessible. First off had to jump up a high curb to get to door of room. Then had to hop up another step to get into room. Went to check out bathroom and door was so narrow my walker would not go through. The commode was not handicapped abd sink was a cheap pedestal abd shower was a standup box which I described as a coffin standing upright. Someone ssked je why I didn’t call front desk to request another room. I knew that was useless because the entire time I wss in kine to cgeck in the 5 desk clerks were swamped with phone calls and walk-in people looking for a room and they were all turned away because hotel was fully booked out. I had chosen tgst particular hotel because it offered parking for the length ofctre cruise my granddaughter and I were doing plus transportation to/from port. It was awful. My granddaughter webt to shower abd there not even a shelf in the shower so she had to place her toiketries on the floor of shower. I emailed corporate twice with no response so I copied both emails over to their Facebook page abd Boom. I had a response within 30 minutes. They offered me points and coupons, etc., and I told them to keep them because I would never stay with any brand within the Choice Hotels group ever again and I haven’t (that was 8 years ago).
I have discussed tge accessibility issue with many individual location managers and told ttem thry needed a person who is physically handicapped to advisecon any renocations or construction because all of the written laws cannot soeak to iyr beeds. We know what wiris and what doesn’t. It makese angry when some place throws up a set of grab bars and slaps a handicapped sign on the door. One big complaint I have is the weight of the door to get into the room. I learned that is to comply with fire code. That is fine but it makes access in or out terribly uncomfortable for people in wheelchairs. Likewise bathrubs arw not accessible for most physically handicapped. I cannot get over tte side of a bathtub; I have to have a walkin shower. Even my able-bodied friends tell me they don’t want a bathtub in their room. Quite frankly I wouldn’t want to take a bath after 100’s of my not so close friends.

I found I have to call and speak to a person and describe exactly what I need. My daughter has a large power chair. He knees are fixt straight out and held with an extension. In NYC, she was unable to get into her room. Fortunately, we also brought her manual chair and that was able to fit. Hoyer did not fit in the bathroom.
In Boston, they had a lift to go from the lobby to the restaurant. Her wheelchair did not fit.
In Rhode Island, we had to go outside and around the building to get to the attached restaurant.
In Washington DC, Hoyer had no space to fit the legs under the bed so we could not get her from her wheelchair into bed!!!
One size does NOT fit all!!!

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The biggest problem is that there is no enforcement action for ADA violations by giant hotel chains. The ADA is useless if the hotels can ignore it.

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