Posted by: sistermom1 | October 22, 2010

Needing an Accessible Room

I am getting used to asking for exactly what I need without feeling guilty about it.  I want to share an experience that I just had — and am still working through. 

A week ago, I made a reservation at a local hotel for my daughter and me to spend the night and have a girl’s weekend.  It has been some time since we spent any special time together, and I often worry about her feeling happy and at ease.  I am in need of much support on a daily basis, and she provides much of it — even though she is a pre-teen, and needs much from me as her mother.

Anyway, when I made the reservation I specifically shared that because I am wheelchair-bound, I needed an accessible room.  A note was made on my reservation and I received a confirmation via email.  Three days ago it occurred to me to check the reservation, so I called.  To my surprise, I was told that although a note had been made on my reservation, no accessible room was available, and I was scheduled to be in a regular room.  No apology, just a statement that I needed to expect that.  (Thanks universe, for pushing me to get an update!)

Now, I do not usually make a habit out of making a lot of requests, but to be comfortable, I do need an accessible room.  I really do not have the option of NOT being in one, since I cannot walk.  When I expressed this, I was told that they would check other local hotels to find me an alternative location.  They called me back to say that there was no option, and asked what did I want to do.  Needless to say, I was extremely discouraged, especially since my daughter had been looking forward to the weekend, and the hotel was connected to a major shopping mall and some of our favorite restaurants.

I was left to my own devices to find an alternative, which was not at all helpful.  I did manage to find another local hotel that was attached to a mall at a similar rate, and we are heading there tomorrow.  I still can’t help but think — what if I had been coming from out of town and did not know the area?  What if I could not be in an alternative hotel?   In the past, I would have let this go without making any fuss — especially since I was able to find another location.  This time I decided not to let it go, but instead wrote a letter to the hotel chain sharing my experience with a suggestion about how to handle these situations in the future.  I feel better about it now, and hope to have an update to share later, along with how this very special weekend with my daughter goes.

Have a great weekend everybody!

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Responses

  1. Dear SisterMom1

    Writing letters for unacceptable service for hancicapped accessible rooms in great and one of the first steps in becoming an “Empowered Patient”. Think how powerful a ” SisterMom1 List” would be if it carried a website for MS patients nationally to list the names of companies that have not provided services in compliance with the law!!Bet you’d see some very quick changes in service and product delivery. Transparency and accountability are powerful advocacy tools!

    Nuff Said!

    LadyCrusaderDC

  2. Your post made me realize the importance of accessibility in my own home. My house would not be a place that you would enjoy visiting…a weird, uneven, flagstone walk to the front door…brick steps with no hand rail (and definitely no ramp), a narrow hall and small opening to the guest powder rooms on the main level. I am inspired to make some inquiries to making it better. I have an uncle who recently had a stoke and he is wheelchair bound. My father-in-law had recent bilateral knee surgery, Both of them have visited here but I never realized how difficult it was for them. Thanks for raising my awareness of this issue. Hopefully I can make some changes and then I will invite you over!


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