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Twelve Tips For Finding An Accessible Hotel Room

Look for properties constructed after 1992. The Americans With Disabilities Act took effect in 1992 and properties constructed after this date usually have better access.

  • Always call the property directly. On-site reservation agents often have first-hand knowledge about access features at their property.
  • Never just ask for an accessible room. Request the features you need, like lever door handles and faucets.
  • Avoid yes or no questions. Ask the clerk to describe the accessible features of the room.
  • If the reservation clerk can't give you specific access details, ask to speak to somebody in the housekeeping department.
  • Ask the reservation agent if an accessible room can be blocked for you. If the answer is "no", find another hotel.
  • If room size is a concern, ask the reservation agent to fax you a floor plan of the accessible room.
  • If you need a little more space, request that excess furniture be removed from your room.
  • Many properties have raised toilet seats that can be installed in any bathroom. Inquire about this when you make your reservation.
  • For safety reasons, many hotels now have shower grab bars installed in all bathrooms, not just the "accessible" bathrooms.
  • If fatigue is a factor, request a room near the elevator or in the main building.
  • If you have problems operating those awkward switches on bedside lamps, take a touch lamp control switch with you. These portable devices turn ordinary lamps into touch control lamps. They are available at most hardware or home improvement stores.

Finally, if a reservation agent gives you ambiguous answers or sounds inept, call back later or contact a different property. Always trust your instincts!