June 2011 - Posts
The sign is wrong
This picture shows the disabled parking spaces at this hotel. The problem is that they are not marked out properly with access to both sides and the rear of the space with yellow paint. The purpose of these markings are to help people with disabilities get out of either side of the car and get any impairment aides out of the boot. This area is one way and so you can't park away from the kerb to get a wheelchair in. The result is people have to get out of the passenger side and struggle across the grass and raised kerb. Yet again this is a poor first impression and one that would be very easy to solve.
An accident waiting to happen
I have to use the right hand door according to the instructions on it. If I use the right door I have to go very close to the stairs and it would take very little misjudgement to end up falling down the stairs in a wheelchair. I was extremely careful but what would happen if the wheelchair user had had a very good meal in the restaurant with a few drinks, would he/she realise the need for extreme care. In my opinion this IS an accident waiting to happen. It would be so much safer if the door in use was the left one. How much would it cost to make the change? I suggest it is a great deal less than a claim for damages after someone in a wheeelchair has fallen down a long flight of stairs. Should this have been picked up in a health and safety audit? Of course it should.
Is this an accessible shower?
In my opinion the answer is No. I stayed at this hotel in North Yorkshire on Sunday night. I was told the room was accessible but I could not use this shower as a wheelchair user. The step into the shower was too high and there was no way the wheelchair would go in. The hotel offered stools but these would be very difficult and possibly dangerous for an amputee to use. It meant I could not have a shower and this took something away from my visit. The answer is a wet room and I am sure that in this case it would have been cheaper than this shower cubicle and the inaccessible bath next to it. So when creating an accessible room put in a wet room.
Guess where the disabled toilets are?
Yes, right at the end of this corridor are the disabled toilets and this space was not wide enough for my whhelchair so I could not use them. I understand the need for comfortable chairs and I just about accept the requirements of cigarette machines but is it really necessary to put them in the corridor leading to the accessible or should I say unaccessible accessible toilets. This is a situation that can be easily rectified and would cost the time of a couple of porters to move the furniture. As I keep saying it is not rocket science but you have to look through the eyes of the customer just as you would when marketing your hotel. So why does it not happen? I don't believe it is because people don't care but I do believe that management and staff do not think. Think about the challenges people with disabilities have to face and then make sure your hotel can meet them.
Is this the sort of welcome you want to give people with disabilities?
This may not be the greatest photo but it does illustrate the point. Here we have an accessible parking space that someone has left an old bin and a trolley. This means that as a wheelchaiur user I am going to struggle getting out of the car and into the hotel so it has made a very poor first impression. It would be so easy to stop this happening but people just leave things around hotels without thinking of the impact it might have on a disabled person. I hope that Caterer's Ramp it up campaign shows hoteliers that providing great customer service for people with disabilities is not rocket science. it can be achieved by stopping things like this happening.