gblvr: screencap of basilisk-frozen Hermoine Granger with the caption " "Oh no!." she said flatly."  Mockery of bad-fic. ("Oh no!." she said flatly.)
[personal profile] gblvr
I recently stayed overnight at the Hampton Inn in Alexandria, VA, and I ran into a case of accessibility fail.

The automatic front doors of the hotel are at the top of a small flight of stairs; there is a narrow ramp that goes to the side door, but doesn't lead onto the 'porch' area in front of the automatic doors. In order to enter the vestibule, one needs to be able to open a door that swings out, or to have someone hold the door for them, which leads to other problems, as the ramp isn't quite wide enough to fit a person side-by-side with a wheelchair.

While we were waiting to check-in, I overheard an older gentleman who was pushing his wife's wheelchair commenting on the poor set-up of the doors; when attempting to use a luggage cart, I discovered first hand just how difficult the set up was.

I'm sure this meets the letter of the law, but it certainly doesn't fulfill the spirit.
[personal profile] yarram
So, I recently spent a week in the UK. I spent a couple days staying at the City Inn hotel in Manchester. The staff were very nice and gave me an "accessible" room. There was plenty of room for a wheelchair, the bathroom had lots of grab bars and all the counters were lowered, and the floors were all nice and level. Unfortunately, none of these things are useful for my particular disability.

You see, I'm deaf.

There was no visual-alert fire alarm in the room.

So, City Inn of Manchester, you get good marks for effort... but you still fail.
archersangel: (travel)
[personal profile] archersangel
i just came across this book, rick steves' easy access europe: a guide for travelers with limited mobility & thought it would be helpful to anyone planning to travel to europe.

from amazon;

Product Description
From train and rail pass skills to strategies for visiting open-air folk museums, who else but Rick Steves teaches travelers the skills they really need when traveling through Europe? Most guidebooks don't address the needs of travelers with limited mobility, but Rick Steves believes in comfortable and successful travel for everyone. Rick Steves’ Easy Access Europe focuses on Amsterdam, Bruges, London, Paris, and the Rhine. It provides tips on getting around easily whether you're in a wheelchair or just need to walk slowly. America’s top authority on travel to Europe, Rick Steves has done the legwork, discovered the secrets, and made the mistakes — so travelers don't have to. Completely revised and updated, Rick’s time-tested recommendations for safe and enjoyable travel in Europe have been used by millions of Americans in search of their own unique European travel experience. His tips include: accessibility ratings for all sights, hotels, and restaurants, dependable recommendations for traveling on a budget, roll or stroll tours of historic neighborhoods, and advice from other travelers with physical challenges. Smart ideas are offered on everything from social etiquette to booking a hotel and ordering food. This book is an essential item on any European traveler’s checklist.
archersangel: (Default)
[personal profile] archersangel
first let me say that neither my brother or i are disabled & wouldn't have taken this "accessible room" but it was the only one that was available.

point 1; the door was standard width & i had trouble wheeling my wheeled duffel over the threshold, so i imagine it would be hard for someone in a wheelchair.

point 2; the room itself was small, with only about 18-20 inches between the beds. about a foot between the bed on the right and the wall for the bathroom. the bed on the left was about 2 1/2 feet from the window, but there was a big armchair by the head of the bed. there was a good deal of space from the foot of the beds to the TV & desk.

point 3; the bathroom did have a rail by the toilet, but the toilet was in an alcove between the shower & bathroom wall. there was a rail in the shower, but it was a standard bathtub. the sink wasn't a vanity, but it seemed too high for someone in a wheelchair to use & the mirror didn't go all of the way down behind it.

so other than the rails, i saw little that would make this an "accessible room."
sarah: (achtung baby)
[personal profile] sarah
I am not disabled. My girlfriend [personal profile] synecdochic is, thanks to a genetic disorder of the connective tissue. When not at home, she uses either a cane or a wheelchair.

Before her disease progressed to the point where she required an assistive device to walk more than twenty feet, I gave physical accessibility as much consideration as the average non-disabled person: when I thought of it at all, it was to note the presence of a ramp or parking space or the like. I never realized the sheer number of small (and not-so-small) obstacles a physically-disabled person must navigate to traverse the same distance I can walk across without a second thought.

[personal profile] synecdochic jokes that I'm more apt to rant about a non-accessible space than she; I say that's because I have the energy to spare, since I'm not the one who has to hoist myself over a crappy curb-cut or make a fifty-yard detour to find an entrance without steps.

We're spending the next couple evenings at a Marriott in northern Virginia while I attend a work-related conference. My annoyance at our less-than-ideally-accessible room spurred the creation of this community.

photo of a wheelchair caster jammed against an elevated threshold

This is the doorway of our handicapped-accessible room. Hardly noticeable to someone not in a wheelchair, jumping a threshold this high takes surprising momentum with the standard-sized casters equipped on this wheelchair. (The casters are the two small wheels in front.) Not only is momentum difficult to build up when you're on carpet, it can't be done when you're maneuvering through a doorway alone, as you need one hand to hold open the dor and the other on the doorframe; you have to haul yourself through from a standstill.</td>

image of a bathroom sink and mirror

Some effort has clearly been made to make this sink accessible. Note the lack of a vanity, allowing the wheelchair-user to get close to the sink.

image of me in D's chair pulled up to the sink

But removing the vanity's only the first step: the sink was installed at the standard height for the non-wheelchair user. Note how high I have to lift my arms to reach the bowl. The mirror's also mounted too high. I can't see anything below my nose while sitting straight-backed in the chair.

image of D's wheelchair next to a toilet

A standard toilet bowl sits 14"-15" off the floor. An accessible toilet bowl should be 17"-19" high. It's amazing how much of a difference those couple inches make. Lacking a ruler, you can judge the height of this toilet by the height of D's wheelchair: her seat is 15" high. Not only are higher-than-standard seats essential for the disabled, they're more comfortable for seniors, heavily-pregnant women, or anyone who experiences hip and knee pain. I really don't know why this higher height hasn't become the standard.

image of double-hung glass doors

While the main doors in the lobby are accessible, the doors to the sole designated outdoor smoking area are not. Each door is less than 24" wide. D's chair is about 21" wide at the base; she could not get through without having two doors held open (remember that a certain amount of clearance is required for your hands to push your wheel rims). Even worse, the doors were poorly hung, making them extremely heavy. Again, this isn't just a problem for a person in a wheelchair. It's difficult for anyone using a cane, for anyone with decreased upper-body strength, or for a senior citizen.


accessibility_fail: Universal "person in wheelchair" symbol, with wheelchair user holding a cutlass (Default)
You Fail At Accessibility

December 2018

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