Request for Advocacy for Upgraded Hotel Accommodations

I noticed that I need a chair that is plus sized and can sleep better in a recliner than a bed. Additionally the bathrooms need plus sized walk in showers with benches that can hold a larger weight capacity. I stayed in a hotel near Newark airport that claimed to be handicapped accessible. As I waited and had to use the bathroom the handicapped stall were each locked from the inside on the second and first levels which made no sense. I was attending an event on the second floor and missed the second part of the event because I had to go to the bathroom so badly that once I got in my room I did not go back. They did not honor the early check-in, they claimed the hotel room was on the first level, I had to wait 2 hours for them to clean a room on the 12th floor that required a long walk from the elevator and I walk with a Walker. I was alone in my room so I had no support getting in and out of bed. The furniture or chair was too small for my hips. I sat in the desk chair and it had wheels so I had no support but had to strategically try to brace myself against the foot of the bed to try to stand. The bathroom shower had a small wooden bench that had what looked like mold within the crevices of each wooden slat. What can be done to require hotel rooms that claim to be handicapped accessible more accessible also considering the conditions that I mentioned.

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I use a larger wheelchair also and one of the worst things is that the doors don’t open ide enough to get the chair in normally. I also have issues with the tiny showers. I almost always use the desk chair if it has no arms. I never see recliners in any modern hotel room. Hang in there yu aren’t alone.

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ADA requirements do not address issues related to the need for oversized accommodations unfortunately. Keep in mind that people with disabilities come in all shapes and sizes and it is impossible to anticipate what each potential guest in a hotel room could need in order to stay there.
That being said if you have a “list” of your particular needs that can be communicated to the hotel ahead of time (like the need for a larger chair in your room) they can hopefully find something on the property (like a lobby chair or something like that) that they can put in the room prior to your arrival.
As far as rooms not being ready when promised, that is happening everywhere and not just accessible rooms but all rooms. They don’t have housekeeping staff available.
I hate to sound pessimistic but I think that an amendment to the ADA or a separate law needs to be passed so the accessibility needs of people of size are also accommodated. Until then my advice is to communicate your needs ahead of time to the hotel directly (not the reservation line, but the manager or assistant manager) and be firm but not demanding or nasty… I’ve used a wheelchair for over 50 years (pre-ADA) and found that the firm and friendly approach works most every time… and be realistic… good luck

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I find some of those same issues when I travel
A couple of months ago I was in Knoxville, TN and it was quite late when I returned to my room. I was visiting my grabdson and his wife and their apartment is 2 story and not accessible so I had booked a hotel room. I ended up having to spend 1 night in one hotel then move to a different one. I did this because I had free nights built up so I was using those so I didn’t have to pay for my room. I got cleaned up and ready for bed when I realized the king bed was so tall I could not sit on the side as I couldn’t get up onto the bed. The only thing I could do was lean against the side of the bed. I am not very mobile but in this case I have a very petite granddaughter who would need a stepstool in order to climb into this bed so it is not just a handicapped issue. I called the Front Desk (it is almost 1:00 a.m) and told the young man my issue and he told me he was very sorry but all of the beds throughout the hotel were the same. I told him “wrong answer” because this is a handicapped accessible toom and its bed should not be the same as every other bed in the hotel. I asked if maintenence had any stepstools but they had left at Midnight. I asked about the gym as it was on my floor but they didn’t have any steps. Finally a young lady also working the Front Desk went to the Catering office and found a small, square wooden box and she brought.it to my room. It was enough to help me by using my leg lift to get onto the bed. I will say it was not a restful night as my back killed me all night long.
I am also used to falling asleep in my lift chair or if I am in my bed I have my head raised and after being settled I also raise my legs so that they are not flat. My spine does not handle.flat as it sends my spine into spasms. I have a Sleep Number queen that allows me to raise and lower head or feet or both. I do have another adaptive strap that is atrached to the frame on the opposite side of the bed from where I sleep that allows me to pull my body across so that I am more “in” the bed and not on the edge.

I was just on Asheville,NC one night last week and pushed the desk chair out of the way because it was on 4 rollers with no way of locking them into an immobile state. I would be scared to death to sit in that chair for the fear of it rolling away when I attempted to stand. I ended up sitting on the seat of my walker.

I spoke with a manager at another hotel location because the weight of the door into my room was such that I could not push on it while sitting in my wheelchair. The young man handling my luggage had to open the door and hold it open for me to enter. Never mind the issue I had when it came time to leave my room to go to dinner and then my return. Try opening a door that is like deadweight while sitting in a wheelchair. Sorry, but my arms needed to be about a foot longer just to reach much less try to pull so much weight. He explained to me that the door weight was necessary to meet national fire code standards. I told him I appreciated the.concern for the safety of hotel guests but that an accommodation needed to be added for those handicapped accessible rooms. I suggested some type of button plate similar to those you see for outside doors at malls. That would also be needed on the inside to allow the handicapped guest to exit the door. These need to be battery backed up should electrical service fail especially when on other than ground level

Is it just me or do you and others find handicapped rooms on very high floors? In NYC my handicapped room was on the 48th floor; the Front Desk was on tte 8th floor.

I also note when entering a restroom marked handicapped accessible that the handicapped stall is the very last one in a long line of stalls and in some cases all that means is they slapped up a grab bar and said okay it’s handicapped now. The absolute worst one I have seen is at the Savannah Civic Center. Built late 60’s or early 70’s it has not been updated to comply. The handicapped seating was a joke; seriiusly, alk they did was slap some plywood together on
2 places against back wall facing stage with a plywood ramp on each. Then those with tickets marked handicapped were directed there. Some in wheelchairs and some in scouters and others on walkers with others having able bodied companions who wwee given old folding metal chairs. No rows nor aisles so when someone on front of space in a wheelchair needs to go to restroom everyone anywhere near or behind that person has to move and get out of their way do they can exit. Then a recerse of this occurs when that person returns and wants their front space back. The ladies room was a joke. Saw a sign for handicapped ladies room but when I arrived there it required a special card for entrance? (Same was true for handicapped parking lot). I went to the.normal ladies room as it did have handicapped sign. There were probably a dozen stalls going diwn the right side of this long anf narrow space. I finally reached the one and only handicapped stall at the very end of this row. What a joke. There was no door to this space. (It was not iriginally a stall but an add-on). There was no curtain, nothing to offer the user any modicum of privacy. They had screwed a couple of pieces of PVC onto the wall, put in a regular commode and screwed in a toilet tissue holder and voila - you were given their version of a handicapped stall. Like really?

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Hi Cycleboy99; it’s Pinky :fairy:; of your Forum moderators :crystal_ball:. I just wanted to thank you for your reply to lwin2022I. You very clearly explained a huge problem that many people in our community face when trying to plan travel away from home. As much as they tried to cover what they thought was ‘everything’ that needed to be covered by ADA law, they defiantly left out any consideration that we all come in different shapes and sizes and there is no such thing as ‘standard body type’ to establish ADA design standards to.

Occasionally, some of these larger corporations in the travel industry actually have whole departments in-house that focus on the design planning for meeting ADA standards in their accommodations or other businesses. They often have opportunities for customer input on what the specific accessible are most needed or missing in their designs.
We all know how much extra time and work goes in to planning our accessible travel, so I can completely understand how frustrating these extra steps to planning travel can be. That’s why I find it fabulous that the folks who work for AccessibleGo will actually take that extra step and help verify if a hotel has your specific accessibility needs (such as the larger showers or extra furniture needed for room, etc.). Either that, or always feel free to come to Forum and either myself or one of the other Moderators will help do some research for you. Thats what we love to do. Think of us as your Agathie Christie’s/Sherlock Holmes’s here; its what we love to do.

Especially if it’s something to help more people travel who have accessibility needs.

Thank you to all our other Forum members for sharing your experiences with this issue. Sometimes just hearing that your not alone in dealing with a situation like ours, can be all the help some members need in order to the next leap in exploring travel. So we appreciate all of your stories as well as advice on the Forum. It’s what’s going to make us all stronger and smarter when we go out and see the world!

  • Keep on traveling everyone; It’s our world too! :wheelchair: :earth_americas:

Pinky :kissing_heart:

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Here is a link to a very informative article about hotels and accessibility

And in it it does clearly state (unfortunately) “No standard for bed height is mandated or prescribed by the ADA”.

Everything who has mobility issues or is blind or hard of hearing should familiarize themselves with these Standards so we know what to advocate for. And what is required and what is not… for example doors into rooms and bathrooms need only be 32 inches wide to be allowed

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Thank you so much for sharing. I don’t have a wheelchair yet but I’m sure I will need a wide one. I am grateful for your comments to know that I am not alone. I wish the desk chair could lock. I was rolling around when I needed to be stationary but I kept trying until I was able to stand up to grab my Walker.

I am so glad I was able to join this forum because we can discuss our challenges and realize we are not alone or can add a unique situation to be considered.

I wish an adjustable base bed can be added to accessible rooms and a recliner that helps people stand and or recline to elevate our legs. I want to travel but realize I usually prefer to stay home because it is such a miserable feeling to have to struggle to maneuver myself in a room not set up to accommodate my special or specific needs.

Thank you for your response.

Wow you definitely understand what I’m saying. I did sit in the rolling desk chair and almost rolled away. :joy:. I’m glad I can laugh about it now but it was not funny. It was hard for me to get in the bed. There was no support and nothing to hold onto. Standing was equally as hard and that is why I hope hostels will add adjustable base beds and recliners with a lift. I presently sleep in my recliner as I am having problems climbing the stairs to get to my bedroom. I also need a walk-in shower in my home because it is hard climbing into my shower. In the meantime I plan to have my glass doors removed and add a portable chair to sit on in the shower. Renovations are so expensive I’m trying to find the right price I can afford.

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. That is a great idea for handicapped rooms to have an extra feature to the door to automatically open for entry and exiting. My accessible room was also on the 12th floor in stead of the 1st. Level that was promised to me. I also notice that when I booked the room online the hotel claims I should have called them additionally to confirm that they had a handicapped accessible room available. When I went to the hotels website I called the reservation number that was listed not realizing it was a third party booking the reservations. So unreal.