I absolutely enjoy staying at hotels… the pampering yields way for much needed relaxation. In today’s society, you can find a hotel that will meet your specific needs. Whether, you are looking for a hotel with spa amenities or one that offers you the leisure to gamble, there is always a right hotel waiting to meet your desires. Due, to the ADA, hotels in the U.S. are mandated to provide accessible room options for those with disabilities. Walk in bathtubs, handicapped toilets, just to name a few. However, the same cannot be said for other countries across the world. Accessibility is much harder to come by. When I think of accessibility, inclusion and awareness come to mind; benefiting those with and without disabilities. We learn from each other. Also, in my opinion, true accessibility cannot be established if it has a limited scope.
Have you heard about the hotel project managed by the Europe based charity, Action For Blind People? It is an innovation that seeks to create a comfortable environment for those with visual impairments. Within the project, there are 3 hotels. They offer ground floor rooms, accessible signs in print, information in Braille, wheelchair accessibility, and guided excursions. There is one major problem, funding. The hotels are not generating the needed revenue. As a result, Action For Blind People is seeking to sale the properties to another management company. There is a heightened fear that the hotels will not offer the same amenities, geared to blind/visually impaired individuals, if they are under new management. Thousands of people will be impacted by the change, which means that many feel that they will lose out on opportunities.
I feel this story is a prime example of how accessibility should be mainstream, not only present in a small sector. How about the patrons and staff of the hotels turn their fears into action? Teach other hotel managements what accessibility means. Your needs deserve to be met, which can occur if awareness keeps being pushed. Remember, the three AAA’s; awareness, accessibility, and achievement!