Dedicated to my friend & Partner in crime, the late Randy C. Morin (pictured lower left)
Back some 7 years ago with nephews Tanner (standing), Easton & niece Mallorie
The accessiblehotels.org site opened for business in January, 2012 but has been in the works for much longer. When discussion began while the Website founder & President was traveling to National Wheelchair Poolplayers (NWPA) tournaments, throughout the United States in 2001. Like many individuals with disabilities, Willie Davis, was frustrated by the difficulty finding accessible hotels, as well as the limited accommodations they were providing. That is why he decided to establish a 5 Star Hotel rating system for Consumer Satisfaction for those living with a disability and those requiring special needs. But, he wanted to take it one step further and include documents in the form of downloads, other networking links who address disability laws & federal regulations for improving the lives of these individuals. Because, he himself is living with a disability (T 7/8 paraplegic) confined to a wheelchair some 31 years, as the result of a car accident.
The accommodations needed by an individual in a wheelchair are not anything that would not be helpful to many hotel guests – that is, a working elevator, space to maneuver around the bed in the hotel room, a conveniently located telephone and a shower. Some hotels do a great job in meeting these needs but, without a community sharing information, it is hard to know which are the most accessible hotels in a city.
The type of accommodation needed can also vary. For an individual with a visual impairment or blindness, the availability of Braille menus or a convenient area to walk a guide dog may be more important than a roll-in shower.
For meeting planners, the number of accessible rooms is important. When planning an event for a group like the National Wheelchair Poolplayers Association, a large number of rooms that are wheelchair accessible will be needed. Other groups, that address disability issues, such as the Consortium of Administrators of Native American Rehabilitation (CANAR), Little People of America (LPM), all have a significant number of people attending their events who need accommodations, of various types of requirements that will allow them to live independent lives.
Asking the hotels themselves isn’t the best idea. That’s kind of like asking someone to rate the attractiveness of their children. So, we settled on this idea – let’s ask people with disabilities themselves, and their family members, to rate the hotels and give us their feedback on the ones they like best. The website is all about improving and giving those with disabilities and/or special needs a place to share their concerns and comments. One final footnote, although I can claim most of the credit & idea to develop this website, my late close friend, partner in crime (as we use to refer to ourselves) Randy C. Morin was a major driving force in pushing me to follow through in addressing how Hotels dealt with Consumer Satisfaction or Customer Services. Especially since he competed & traveled one year more than me on the NWPA pool circuit. Koodo’s to you my good friend, may you rest in the afterworld knowing we here on Earth or contuining the Fight – Megwich (Ojibwe for Thank You) for what you have thought me & the Disability movement!
To be part of the first of our regular surveys, click here, to take a two-minute survey on accessible hotels.