Whether you often travel or need to travel for a specific event, traveling is something that most people must do at least once or twice a year. If you’re in a wheelchair, have other mobility issues, or another disability that requires special accessibility standards (such as blindness), when you travel, you need to find wheelchair accessible hotels or hotels suitable for the disabled.
First-time travelers and even seasoned travelers may have some questions when it comes to wheelchair accessible hotel rooms. Read on to learn some answers to common questions, how to find a suitable room, and what hotels can and cannot do.
Wheelchair Accessible Hotels: What Does It Mean When a Hotel Room is Accessible?
These days, many travelers book their hotel rooms online by looking for deals or going to the hotel-specific site. Using this method, you can find accessible hotels easily. However, what accessibility means may differ from hotel to hotel (and especially from country to country, if you are traveling internationally). A hotel can call themselves “wheelchair accessible” simply by having an elevator in the hotel. Most hotels with two floors do have elevators—so this isn’t necessarily helpful.
Unfortunately, when you’re traveling and looking for features such as a hotel handicap accessible bathroom, it is a good idea to call the hotel before you reserve the booking online. You might want to ask questions about handicap accessible parking, wheelchair ramps, elevators, whether the hotel has a roll-in shower, and whether there are grab bars in the bathroom. Those who need TTD services or Braille will need to ask those specific questions. Travelers with electric powered wheelchairs may want to ask about the outlets in the room, so they can adequately charge their wheelchair.
Wheelchair Accessible Hotels: What Hotels Can and Cannot Do
As you’re perusing hotels, you may wonder about questions like, “How many ADA rooms are required in a hotel,” or “Can a hotel charge more for an accessible room”? Under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), all hotels are required to be wheelchair accessible hotels, but the amount of ADA rooms required differs based upon the size of the hotel. For example, a small hotel with 2 to 25 rooms requires only one room with an ADA tub, two rooms with communications features, and one room that is mobility accessible.
However, larger hotels (such as those with 501 to 1,000 rooms), must have essentially five percent of all rooms be ADA-compliant. When traveling, it may be a safer bet to look for a larger hotel. However, you may be able to find other arrangements through booking sites such as Airbnb, so long as you ask the host the right questions.
It is true that some hotels try to get away with charging more for wheelchair accessible rooms. What these wheelchair accessible hotels are doing is illegal, and this can be reported immediately to the ADA. Be careful when booking. Compare regular rooms to wheelchair-accessible options, making sure that there is no price-gouging going on.
Wheelchair Accessible Hotels: A Checklist
Before you book, it’s essential that you:
- Look for wheelchair accessible hotels online
- Compare room prices between regular rooms and wheelchair accessible rooms
- Call the hotel for details about the level of accessibility
- Ask the hotel for pictures of the room, if possible
- Report any violations directly to the ADA
For more information about wheelchair accessible hotels, or to learn about mobility products such as stairlifts and wheelchair ramps, that may be life-changing, contact Williams Lift Co. today. We want both patients and caregivers to live their best lives.