MemberJanuary 10, 2020 at 7:37 pm
My experience as a care taker for someone in a wheelchair is that accommodations have different views on what accessibility means. Usually it does not meet the needs of that person.
Right now I want to go to the root of the problem to change this and make it possible for people with physical disabilities and their care takers to have a vacation without worry or frustration.
So I would really like to know what the things are that could be improved for example during the booking process or when you are at the hotel.
This from both the care taker and the person in the wheelchair point of view.
Looking forward to see where this discussion leads.
MemberJanuary 11, 2020 at 3:19 pm
You have an interesting yet challenging topic. Being a polio survivor since my childhood and now aided by a mobile scooter for my declined physical mobility and advancing years, i could sincerely related with the plight of the physically challenged populace. Like everybody else freedom, control is important for us PWDs. Wherever and whenever we can, we stretch the limits of our remaining strength to achieve that certain degree of independence (and tell our selves we still can, but in a different way now). That is where tools, gadgets, architectural structures and spaces play its important part for us to achieve this. Keep in mind these are all aids to the individual to function “nearly”close or almost like a “regular, healthy” individual. Therefore, all these must be designed/structured for their purpose to help/assist physically challenged individuals. In simplistic terms, ramps and slides as default instead of steps or flight of stairs for anything elevated, grab bars, handle bars to hold on, ample spaces to move/turn around. All these are a no problem to an able-bodied individual, but not the reverse. Real inclusiveness takes into account all these to make it workable for all, more or less. but there is still so much ignorance or lack of knowledge on disabilities, worsened at times but the lack of empathy towards those who are afflicted.
MemberJanuary 11, 2020 at 7:19 pm
I can speak from the viewpoint of a power wheelchair user. I think that the most important thing when searching for an accessible accommodation is information. What the accommodation offer when it claims wheelchair accessibility? Specific dimensions and photos are very important. Details like bed height, doors’ width etc. should be provided.
Often also, a wheelchair user can use a room that is not a “special” one. If he/she knows for example, that he/she can enter the room without obstacles and has an approachable bathroom, he/she can be ok with that. So I think that detailed information are crucial.
Furthermore, being able to contact the accommodation by means other than phone is also important. E-mail communication for example is often easier for many people.
Finally, I don’t know if this is something that can be done, but it would be great if there could be “modifications” made when needed. For example different furniture alignment, equipment for renting available, separate beds for the disabled and his/her personal assistant etc.
MemberJanuary 11, 2020 at 7:59 pm
I know each country has its owned prescribed building/construction code and if these laws embrace disabilities then there are minimum or general standards that must be followed for buildings, structures and public spaces. In the US i am aware of the ADA standards. Likewise in Japan, there are strict standards for compliance and adherence to laws on disabilities. Notwithstanding, there must still be “wiggle” room for adjustments and adaptability (of such structures) as there cannot be a strict “one size fits all” approach to physical disabilities. Compliance of the bare minimum is a good step towards the right direction.
Awareness and (re)education of the general populace is key.
MemberJanuary 12, 2020 at 10:11 pm
like others have said, it is dependant on the country you are traveling to. However even here in the UK what is classed as accessible should be taken with a pinch of salt.
There seems to be a generalization of accessibility. By this I mean, if they have a ramp or disabled toilet then they can put accessible in their criteria, even if the user can’t actually access it.
As we all know this is not acceptable and each person’s needs are as individual as the person themselves. I was recently looking for a room in the lake districts. The description said accessible room available. As always I rang to check. I could get into the hotel, however, there were 2 steps leading to the room that I would have been impossible to negate in my electric chair. A manual chair used may have found this acceptable to a degree, but for the majority, this room should never have been classed as accessible.
Overall it can sometimes come down to the fact the suppliers are just not being educated on the requirements or they are doing the bare minimum to cover themselves. We as the user should be willing to approach this matter in a kind way and educate others in what really is the bare minimum.
Always ring ahead, always layout your individual needs and always request that the supply who fails to meet these needs, contact you back, should they change this and be able to accommodate your individual needs in the future. It is only through education that societal views regarding disability can change. As I like to say, we are not disabled, society has never learned to enable everyone!
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