At this phase of my life, I would consider a great job to be a consultant for a hotel chain or architecture firm.
I have learned over time that hotels have categories of accessible rooms. Sometimes an accessible room simply means it is on the ground floor. It’s not unusual to request a handicapped room and find yourself with a regular bathroom. Sometimes management thinks the simple presence of a shower chair qualifies a room as accessible. If you have specific needs, be sure to ask plenty of questions before making a reservation. I have found that most hotels differentiate between “handicapped accessible” and “wheelchair accessible”. If you need a roll-in shower, you must specifically ask if one is available and request it. Even then, it may not be guaranteed. My best results have happened when I have called the hotel directly for a reservation and asked them to make a note about my needs.
Lately, I have been surprised how high the beds are. Those with mobility issues would benefit from a bed they can get into more easily.
I have had the opportunity to stay in a variety of hotels. At some point, I started to take pictures of good features and things that left me frustrated.
In the spring of 2012, we stayed at three hotels during a cross-country trip to New York and back. The three hotels were: Holiday Inn Express, Westport Plaza in Kansas City; Hyatt House in Fishkill, New York; and Hampton Inn in Zanesville, Ohio. With time passing since visits and pictures not labeled well, I cannot with accuracy attribute which features belong to which hotel. However, it is worth pointing out the good and bad elements of these different rooms.
Some hotels and businesses use tile as baseboard. This is a superb idea that could be used more frequently. Couldn’t the same be done in houses? And wouldn’t it help prevent scuff marks from wheelchairs and water damage in a room with so much plumbing?
Or, what about carpet in place of baseboard?
I like this transition between tile and carpet. It might be marble.
I had wall corner protectors put on when we remodeled. I was impressed by these industrial strength wall protectors. They may or may not be overkill in a home, but I think more businesses should use them to protect their walls from wear, dirt and wheelchairs.
Shown below are good and ample bathroom grab bars at toilet, with enough room on top and bottom to comfortably get a hand around them.
Great grab bars in a shower:
Here’s a wonderful fold-down seat, but it’s too far away from the faucet controls and sprayer to offer convenience.
I was so grateful for the accessible room at Hyatt House in Fishkill, New York. I cannot understand why they would take a great room with wide doorways, and then block a wide doorway with furniture.
All of the hotels that offer accessible and handicapped rooms would benefit from having a “wheel user” evaluate the space and determine the true usefulness of what they offer. Better yet, ask a veteran wheel user and traveler for their feedback on architectural plans before going forward with construction. This simple act would alleviate much frustration and happier customers.
I’m for hire!