This contributed post is for informational purposes only. Please consult a business, financial and legal professional before making any decisions. We may earn money or products from the affiliate links in this post.
When running a hotel business, you’re likely to encounter guests with a wide variety of needs. Some may possess physical disabilities that require them to use wheelchairs. To accommodate them effectively and make your hotel a comfortable place for all guests, take note of these factors to consider for hotel accessibility.
An excellent place to start as you seek to make your hotel more accessible is the training you provide to your staff. Even if you have some well-placed ramps or platform lifts for those in wheelchairs, workers who don’t know about or understand how to operate these features can still detract from your guests’ experience at your hotel. Teach all staff members to properly and compassionately offer help to guests in wheelchairs, and train them to operate hotel features specific to those guests. Regardless of their role, when all your employees have good training, they’ll be able to make your guests’ stays feel seamless and enjoyable.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) has set guidelines for accessible restroom designs in hotels. If you haven’t already, utilize these to guide renovations. The ADA calls for seats in bathtubs for guests who are unable to stand in the shower. These may either be permanent features or removable. Along with seats, tubs should have bars that people may grab for stability. In addition to adjusting to restrooms that contain tubs, you can also set aside some restrooms for roll-in showers. These lack the separation that tubs introduce, making them easier to use for guests in wheelchairs. As with tubs, roll-in showers must include grab bars, seats, and showerhead controls within reach of those seats. Also, think about how you place toilets and sinks to ensure enough space for a chair to maneuver within the restroom.
Transportation can be a tricky affair since people often fly from far away locations when staying at hotels. A factor to consider for hotel accessibility is how you can make the guests’ transition from the airport to the hotel and back convenient. You may also want to provide transportation to popular sites in your area that guests may want to visit. For this, you can obtain a wheelchair-accessible shuttle that includes lifts, ramps, and straps for holding wheelchairs in place. Having such a bus will instantly boost your hotel’s ability to accommodate those with disabilities. The shuttle can also function to transport passengers who don’t use wheelchairs, making it much easier for all guests to get around.