Traveling is an often enjoyable endeavor. There is the opportunity to go to fun, and exciting places, meet new and interesting people and explore different cultures. For those of us with full mobility, we hardly notice how many challenges traveling can sometimes have for others who have mobility issues.
When you have to worry about things like wheelchair access, moving a lot more slowly than the speed of a normal crowd, or needing additional assistance to get in and out of doorways, building and structures, your approach to and expectations of trip is completely different.
One thing that takes center stage, is the need to plan everything out before you leave. You will need to know in advance how you will move around and where you will stay. Accommodations are particularly important and having handicap accessible hotels is a Godsend:
More Cities are Becoming Handicap Accessible
Around the world, more and more governments are implementing laws to make their cities more accessible to the handicapped, and cities are finding that their implementing these laws brings more visitors to their cities. In most major cities around the world handicapped people can expect to find:
Public transportation: Buses have wheelchair ramps. Subways and elevated train stations have elevators wide enough to fit wheelchairs and designated areas in train cars where wheelchairs can fit.
Sidewalks: Sidewalks are being modified with ramps on their corners so wheelchairs can get up on the curb. They are also being repaired so that a person in a wheelchair can move down the street easily.
City and Private Buildings: There are doors that are wider and available alongside revolving doors. Ramps are installed and clear at each entrance. Handicap parking is available in front of all government buildings and large private buildings as well.
Entertainment Venues: Sports stadiums, theme parks, and parks are now fitted with wheelchair lifts, elevators that are beside escalators and areas of some rides that are designated for those in wheelchairs.
Restaurants, Cafes and Coffeehouses: Ramps leading to wider door openings that allow for wheelchairs. Aisles, seating areas and bathrooms that also fit wheelchairs.
Airports: Ramps and elevators are available. Personnel are available to assist getting handicapped passengers through passport areas and to their gates on time.
Perhaps the most important types of places to have been fitted for the handicapped are hotels. During a trip to a city, the handicapped person will certainly spend most of his or her time at the hotel, so having an environment that is both accommodating and accessible is critical.
- For starters having staff available when the person arrives to assist in unloading the handicapped person from the car or van.
- Making sure the handicapped person is directed to a ramp for easy wheelchair access.
- Access to the check-in desk should be unimpeded and again assistance should be available to assist with hotel check-in.
- Wide elevators that can easily fit the wheelchair and others on a single trip.
- Rooms with wide doors and an area in the room where the wheelchair can turn around.
- Bathrooms with safety bars by the toilet and sink. A wide shower that can accommodate the wheelchair or that has no step-over. Shower is handheld.
- Controls for the temperature and lights reachable by someone in a wheelchair.
- Al hotel amenities including restaurants, gift shop, pool, lounges, deck and business center accessible to someone wheelchair bound.
- Alerting staff that a handicapped person is checked into the room and may need special assistance.
The amenities ensure that a handicapped person will be well taken care of and made to feel comfortable. For hotels that have these facilities and go the extra mile, they will be sure to attract the large numbers of handicapped travelers looking to be pampered when they travel.