Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Another Sucky Room

I continue to be appalled at the lies, or lack of truth or understanding, perpetrated by the hoteliers of the world with respect to wheelchair access in hotels. It's just incredible the number of places that claim to have wheelchair accessible facilities when they clearly do not. It becomes more and more obvious to me that most hotels do simple lip service to offering something for a handicapped person; a few, a very few, do it like the mean it.

Last night we stayed at the #HiltonGardenInn in #TwinFalls, Idaho. This experience was sufficiently disappointing as to make me consider calling a local lawyer and launching an ADA complaint with legal action. The room, advertised to us as ADA compliant, was anything but, with a tiny bathroom offering toilet access only, and that access could be called dangerous, no shower nor access to a tub with a shower seat, and a standard sink in a standard counter, making it essentially unusable for me. It was, in a word, terrible.

I have come to expect bad hotel experiences, not as the exception but as the rule. In Canada the lack of a single federal guideline means most places do whatever they think is best. In the US, even with the Americans with Disabilities Act, it's still a crapshoot. Some places do a great job, others do a terrible job, and most are somewhere in between. I appreciate, at least, those who honestly admit they don't have wheelchair access. I detest those who claim they do, like this junk joint by #Hilton, and do not.

So far on this trip, the two best places have been the Harbour Towers Hotel in Victoria, , with a room offering a bathroom with not only wheelchair fixtures but standard fixtures as well, and the Embassy Suites in Lynnwood, Washington, offering the only true ADA compliant room we have found so far in our drive across the USA.

The frustrating part about all of this is that I know for a certainty that nothing will change with all my yelling, at least not until the lawsuits begin. Hoteliers won't be encouraged into making life better for those of us condemned to wheelchairs; they will have to be frightened or legislated into it. After all, we are not their major market, and no business person does anything without either a desire for profit or a fear of loss. I wish some of them could have my kind of loss for a while. They might see things differently, or at least stop lying about their wheelchair accessible rooms.

1 comment:

  1. You should compile a list of wheelchair requirements and send it to the head office of every major hotel chain with copies to relevant government agencies. You know how to do that!