When we talk about an accessible hotel, we mean much more than following a simple rule or regulation. It is a commitment to equality and inclusion of all people, regardless of their abilities. But for this to be possible it is necessary to know where to start.
Therefore, in this article we present the basic accessibility requirements. By following them, it is possible to begin developing a hotel accessible to all. Likewise, you will also discover that it is not only about complying with regulations, but also about offering a good experience.
1. GUARANTEE ACCESS FOR EVERYONE
We could say that access is the cornerstone that opens the doors to having an accessible hotel. And the access allows visitors to enter the tourist establishment and enjoy all the facilities. Thus, without adequate access, all other efforts to improve accessibility would be meaningless.
Access, in its most basic form, is intrinsically linked to the design and size of the doors. And although it may seem obvious or simple, behind this apparent simplicity is the need to carefully consider every detail. A door is not just a means of entry, it is the starting point for a customer’s experience.
Let’s imagine for a moment that we find ourselves facing a narrow door or a gap. For some people, this can represent an insurmountable obstacle. Those who use wheelchairs or other assistive devices may find their path blocked by a simple step.
Truly, a true accessible hotel begins here, at the access. Therefore, designing adequate access is more than an obligation. It is a welcoming gesture that demonstrates a hotel’s commitment to the comfort and satisfaction of all its visitors.
2. ALLOW CIRCULATION
Accessing a hotel is just the first step in the search for a truly inclusive experience. Once inside, the ability to move freely ensures that everyone can enjoy the facilities and services.
Circulation in an accessible hotel goes beyond the simple fact of being able to enter. It’s about the freedom to move, turn and explore without obstacles. At this point, seemingly small details, such as the size of spaces and the arrangement of furniture, have a huge impact.
The ability to move freely within an accessible hotel is an essential component. Therefore, it is the responsibility of hotel designers and owners to ensure that certain requirements are met. In this way, it is possible to develop a hotel project that promotes accessibility.
3. FACILITATE COMMUNICATION
The ability to communicate effectively in all possible modalities is another basic requirement for an accessible hotel. Every detail must contribute to creating an environment where guests can communicate with hotel staff without obstacles. This ranges from information and signage panels to verbal and tactile communication and light and acoustic signals.
An important point here is that hotel staff must be trained to communicate effectively with everyone. This may include the need to use sign language to speak with people who are deaf or hard of hearing. And it also includes patience and empathy to communicate with people who have speech difficulties.
4. PROMOTE THE USE OF EVERYTHING
What’s the point of having a well-designed environment if we can’t fully interact with what it offers? The ability to use the elements related to the establishment is what completes the equation of an accessible hotel.
When we talk about “use”, we refer to a series of parameters. They are essential so that all users can enjoy the accessible hotel facilities and services. Thus, these parameters include reach, drive and grip.
On the one hand, range refers to the distance a person can comfortably reach. Actuation relates to the ease with which a person can operate the devices. And finally, grip is a critical factor, especially for people with motor disabilities. At this point, grab bars in bathrooms and showers are an example of how design can make gripping easier.
An accessible hotel is committed to offering the best experiences, regardless of the person’s abilities or limitations. And for this to be done, requirements must be met such as good access, circulation, communication and use of the room.
By following these basic accessibility requirements, hotels can make a difference and become truly welcoming destinations.