Accessible accommodation is a precious commodity. Many locations will proudly profess to be accessible, but too often they misunderstand the needs of the mobility impaired community. The result is a disappointment and a bone-chilling fear of being stuck somewhere on the other side of the world being unable to access accommodation or go to the bathroom.
The biggest problems we see with accessibility ratings in the current market is the lack of understanding by those making the assessments and the lack of a consistent and reliable standard.
Standing upon the shoulders of giants
We seek to build upon the good work of those that have come before us. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act outlines minimum standards for accommodation (ADA Standards). This outlines key requirements for different types of disability to ensure a minimum representation of suitable rooms are available as well as certain features in those rooms and in other shared areas. Building guidelines in other regions have similar standards to achieve similar outcomes. We value these standards and acknowledge the contribution they have made.
It is common for accommodation providers who meets the ADA Standards to believe they are accessible, after all, this is why we have a standard. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with what the minimum standard is, specifically the person with the disability who doesn’t have their needs met. For example, how do I turn the door knob when I have no strength in my hands, or is the bed height suitable for transferring to and from a wheelchair? For someone who needs something unique in order to have a peaceful holiday these questions are very important and are not covered in a minimum building code. This is where Accessible Globe’s Accessible Accommodation Rating Standard (AARS) makes such a difference for both the accommodation provider and the customer.
We seek to improve the minimum standards so that accommodation providers know how to improve their level of care and people with disabilities can gain a deeper understanding of what to expect in a location. The standard assesses many aspects of a room ranging from structural criteria (door widths) to support tools (handrails) to creature comforts (phone next to the bed). The determination of a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum rating gives users a good high-level understanding of what they can expect with some levels having ‘must have’ criteria. If this isn’t enough, as each location has completed a series of questions a customer is also able to search our detailed database of rated locations to identify accommodations that meet their speciality needs.
Anywhere on Wheels currently has a number of endorsed ‘partner’ resorts in Thailand, including Tamara, in Bang Saray, Chiang Noi in Hua Hin and Dameon Care near Bangkok and in France The Old Mill in La Roche Derrian in Brittany, with more joining soon.
Not everyone gets it right the first time. We offer advisory services that help accommodation providers improve their ratings and as a result, increase their level of care. Once it is known that accommodation is suitable this can quickly result in lower vacancy rates and a brand known for its inclusion and community focus. If you would like advice or support with your accommodation please contact us for an initial phone consultation and advice on the best ways to move forward.