Ella and I travel a lot and In her job as national Vice president of a Magazine we get Invited to a lot of events.
Now being In a wheelchair when were about to travel,or when we receive a invite My job is to check accessibility, Make Hotel reservations and book Airfare and car service.
Before I was disabled from time to time I would see the square with the wheelchair in it and think “oh the whole world is accessible” boy was I wrong.
Below is some of the stupidest replies and situation of Peoples wrong idea of accessibility.
Sydney Hilton, Sydney Australia: Question “are you completely wheelchair accessible”
Reply: of course check in is at the top of the stair in the foyer?
Sydney Marriot: Question: are you completely accessible, if I check in with a able bodied friend can I go everywhere they do?
Reply; Everywhere except one small corner ?
Question : where would that be ?
Reply The toilet and bathroom in your room as long as you never need them the week you’re here your fine?
Adelaide Chifley Hotel, Adelaide South Australia: Question; we’ll be having a reunion in the downstairs bar is there a disabled bathroom?
Reply; Of course were completely compliant we just finished a 40 million dollar refit
Question: Excuse me bartender where is the Bathroom for the disabled?
Reply:Up the spiral staircase at the top on the left?
Footnote: Ella went up the spiral staircase, and sure enough there was a push button electric door huge wheelchair accessible toilet and bathroom with rails and low basins for people in wheelchairs. No elevator, just a spiral staircase if you can float up 36 steps your fine!
Manhattan Beth Israel Hospital 5th floor Disabled equipped hospital ward; after 3 weeks of organisation for admittance for treatment for the illness that puts me in a wheelchair, we get to the door way and it has the international sign for accessibility on the door, we try to roll through the door Only to find it is 6 inches narrower than a standard sports wheelchair. When I get in the room by crawling to my chair which had to be taken apart and re-asembled inside and climbing back into it worm style, there is less than three square feet of space, the chair cannot turn around.
The bathroom has the similar sign on the door, inside it has all the handles and its bigger than the ward. The trouble again was the door, this time was 12 inches narrower than the chair? The hospital said I was just complaining for no reason?.
Final Thoughts Hotels are in the Hospitality Industry, that when the etymology is checked means to make industry from being hospitable! So for them to be as stupid as to put wheelchair facilities up a stair case, or to construct a bathroom in a dedicated disabled suite too narrow for use, will soon kill any chance of profit from hospitality! one would have to provide it to charge!
As for Hospitals, If the Medical community, especially the section that deals with the wheelchair Bound can’t get it right why would we expect olive garden or wendys, or subway or any other commercial premise to?. Get it right folks, were not a small hidden enclave that exists to piss you all off, we are tax paying, Business owning, members of society. The Americans With Disabilities Act is available in over 100 languages as is it’s equal in Australia and England and other western countries, Get a copy, read it make your staff read it and If you don’t, Don’t expect us to be happy, and sure as hell don’t expect to profit from us
Respect Our Existence Or Expect Our Resistance.