Part 14: Guest Access For The Less Able
As hotels number their rooms superstitiously without a no. 13, so goes this series.
Provision for those with disabilities is much greater than making a room available for someone in a wheelchair. It requires a fully thought out operational and design philosophy. For example, Carers may not want to share a bed or even a room with those for whom they are caring, so interconnection becomes an issue. Alarms work both ways and if you have a bedroom lobby with a door on the corridor end and the bedroom end then a visual and aural repeater for the hotel fire system will be needed, and warn guests when testing the system.
Above all though it needs to be visually and ergonomically attractive. If it is then your spaciousness and well thought out provision you have made for all your guests will bring you much of the business, leaving the less well designed for the superficially attractive ‘yoof’ market.
Authors Note: Whilst my knowledge is from the design and implementation of access in UK hotels through projects on which I was a part of the design team, I believe the US regulations and other European national regulations are pretty well much in line with the information in the documents gathered here, and the pictures I have used feature DDA/ADA rooms from all over Europe and the USA.
I am also shocked that there is not even a common European standard. This an area where there should be a commmon International standard.