Lodging Companies for Disabled Travelers: Customer Perspective
Travel-oriented companies appealing to disabled travelers have earned praise for well-designed bathrooms, adjustable fixtures, wheelchair assistance-trained staff, custom vehicles, and more. Below is a list of five companies that have earned praise from a publication dedicated to catering to disabled travelers.
HOTEL: THE WESTIN CLEVELAND DOWNTOWN
Clients who request wheelchair accessible rooms at this hotel will find fold-down shower seats, handheld shower sprayers with accessible controls and a variety of grab bars throughout the bathroom.
The arrangement was so impressive that it attracted the attention of a travel website that caters to wheelchair-bound trailers as an example of "good" ADA compliance. There are some useful photos of this setup here.
HOTEL: HYATT REGENCY CHICAGO O'HARE
The same site referenced above calls attention to the bathrooms at this hotel. The showers are 36 inches per side and have well places controls, walls and hand bars.
HOTEL: HYATT BOGOTÁ HOTEL
This Colombian hotel earned high marks the construction of its beds (20- to 21-inches tall, making wheelchair transition easier.) The desk was high enough to be used from a wheelchair and there were two closet spaces, one with an adjustable-height hanging rod, ironing board and other features.
Colombia does not have regulatory standards for roll-in showers, so the reviewer was especially impressed with the oversized, square-shaped shower with mounting brackets and grab bars convenient for a shower chair user.
RIDE SHARING SERVICE: REBOOT OF THE UBERWAV PLATFORM
UberWAV is an ill-conceived wheelchair accessible ridesharing platform launched in 2015. The platform was considered a scam as it simply charged users for ordering wheelchair accessible taxis through Uber.
Uber has relaunched the platform with a brand-new fleet of wheelchair-accessible mini-vans that are ADA compliant. The fleet consists of Dodge Grand Caravans. The rear-entry vehicles are leased to drivers who are trained to assist riders with wheelchair access. One reviewer notes that the drivers he encountered were friendly and competent in using the wheelchair loading features of the vehicles.
BUS SERVICE: MEGABUS
Megabus offers double-decker motor coaches. Wheelchair users van board via a portable ramp that folds up and is stored onboard in a closet allowing for availability at any stop or in case of an emergency. The service offers generous features like free rides for "personal care attendants," and the reviewer notes that air conditioning vents, reading lights, and power outlets are all accessibly located in an overhead console.
Disabled travelers crave convenience and accessibility, but friendly, well-trained staff and above-and-beyond spacial design tend to earn the highest praise from reviewers. Perks like discounts for support for personal assistants and well-aligned furniture and secondary fixtures also create a positive buzz.