Once upon a time, people in wheelchairs were all but housebound. There was no way that they would be able to travel abroad, drive across the country, or go on a cruise. Today, however, there are laws and regulations in place to ensure disabled people have the same opportunities as able-bodied individuals, and this has also translated in the availability of numerous disability accommodations.
Finding Disability Accommodations
Someone in a wheelchair or who has a disability is able to go on vacation just like everybody else. However, they do face some particular challenges in terms of accessibility. As much as regulations now ensure there is equality across the board, the reality is that those with disabilities do have to do a little bit more research than others.
Not only do people have to do a little bit more research, they also have to understand the rule. For instance, many people believe that if they pay by credit card, they secure a room. What they actually do, is secure a price. Hence, unless you specifically say that you want to lock in a room, you may find yourself arriving at a hotel and being placed in a non-accessible room.
So how do you make sure, as a disabled vacationer, that you find the accommodation that is right for you?
- Find out which hotels are listed as disability friendly and what exactly they mean by that. If you are in a wheelchair, you need a wider doorway and one without a lip. You will also need more turning space. Furthermore, you have to make sure that the bathroom is wheelchair accessible.
- Look into emergency exit procedures. Everybody hopes that nothing will go wrong when you are on vacation, but you never know. Do you really want to be stuck on the top floor of a hotel when there is a fire and the elevators stop working?
- Consider the parking and shuttle situation. Most hotels do have disabled parking spaces, but they may not have shuttles that are wheelchair friendly. Shuttles are usually brought in through third party providers, so do research that.
- What about food? Is it possible for you to enter the restaurant in your wheelchair? And if not, can you receive room service at no extra cost? If you are on vacation, you will need to eat. Similarly, consider the access facilities to any of the other amenities the hotel offers, such as the pool, gym, and garden.
These are just a few of the things you will have to consider, and they are things someone who isn’t in a wheelchair never even has to think about. That is just the way it is, however. The most important thing to remember, is that you must ask the hotel to lock in your room, thereby guaranteeing that the room you have researched and booked is actually the one you will be getting. Once you have done that, you will be ready to enjoy your vacation.