Redesigning Hotel Facilities for Disabled Guests

elderly woke up in the morningTraveling is enough of a challenge for people with mobility issues. This is why as temporary homes, hotels should offer convenience to a diversity of people – especially for persons with disabilities.

Ramps, parking spaces, and elevators are among the ways to make hotels friendly to differently-abled persons. Hotels can be more sensitive to the needs of persons with disabilities by installing the necessary equipment in their facilities.

Bathroom Safety and Accessibility

The bathroom is one of the first areas people check when they walk into their hotel room. Hotels should provide rooms with bathrooms that are accessible to and safe for persons with disabilities.

A built-in handicap bathtub makes it easier for disabled people and elderly to walk in. Handheld showers are convenient for seated bathers. For support, grab bars should be installed in the shower area, as well as near the toilet. A bidet allows easier use of the toilet, as it may be difficult for differently-abled guests to reach for a wipe.

The bathroom should be spacious for wheelchair maneuvering. Additionally, bathroom floors must be non-slip, for everyone’s safety.

Door Width and Automation

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires private businesses to have at least one accessible door for people with a handicap. The door should be at least 32 inches wide for wheelchair space. In addition, the doors should be lightweight and can be pushed with one hand.

Automatic doors provide more convenience. They open and close on their own through sensors, giving persons with disabilities independence and enough time to pass through. They are also wider than regular doors.

Switch and Outlet Location

Good lighting is vital for people with disabilities to see where they are going. For increased accessibility, single touch light switches and outlets should be within reach of a seated user. Switches should be clear of obstruction. For heating and air conditioning, a remote control is helpful to anyone who may have limited mobility.

Fair Housing Act provides guidelines on easier access to switches and outlets for homes. These recommendations are helpful to hotel owners.

In a study, Open Doors Organization found that from 2013 to 2015, 26 million adult Americans with disabilities traveled. This market is getting bigger, especially because the differently-abled don’t usually travel alone. The tourism industry – hotel proprietors, airlines – should make travel and vacations more convenient for this underserved market.