Boycotting Hotels That Don’t Accommodate People With Disabilities: Are You In?

Hotel pools that don’t accommodate kids and adults with disabilities: I told you about that brouhaha back in May. Only a small percentage of hotels around the country comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which means having fixed wheelchair lifts or accessible ramps. The deadline for compliance got pushed to January 2013—meaning yet another summer when people with disabilities would miss out on using the pool. It seemed so wrong, not to mention law-defying.

This week, a coalition of disability rights groups announced a national boycott of hotels that lack a fixed wheelchair lift. They’re also asking supporters to avoid giving business to hotels that have attempted to delay implementation of the ADA.  ”Twenty-two years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, it’s disappointing to see the so-called ‘hospitality industry’ fight so hard to prevent its implementation,” said Mark Perriello, president and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities, quoted in the Seattle Post Intelligencer column Boomer Consumer.

As you make plans for summer vacation, it’s worth asking the staffer taking your reservation whether the hotel has a pool—and a fixed pool lift. Then make your booking decision, suggests the coalition, based on the answer you get.

Max doesn’t use a wheelchair, but you can bet I will be asking these two questions as I book rooms in the future. I won’t visit a hotel that doesn’t fully welcome people with disabilities, enabling them to enjoy the same amenities that other guests do. I would shun any type of business that did the same.

It’s hard for me to know how I’d act if I didn’t have a child with disabilities; I’d like to think that I’d behave the same, refusing to give business to a non-inclusive hotel. I’d like to think families that don’t have children with special needs will also join in.

Now that you know about this, I hope you’ll keep it in mind.

Image of wheelchair by pool via Shutterstock


From my other blog:

A child with cerebral palsy kicked out of a pool for his water wings

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  1. by Morgan

    On July 24, 2012 at 3:09 am

    Yes, already do My 12 year old daughter has CP is nonverbal and is in a wheelchair. Beyond pools, GETTING into hotel rooms is difficult.Do you know how many hotel room doors are not wide enough to fit a bulky wheelchair through. We always contact the hotel manager ahead of time and explain our daughter’s special needs. Most times they say the room doors are standerd size and the ADA does not make them be wider for wheelchairs.So we tend to stick to the same beach house for vacay every year. But this year my niece got married and my daughter Emily was the jr. bridemaid at the fully wheelchair accessible church and reciption hall. So we had to find an accessible hotel. The fourth hotel we called. The manager responded,”On the 1st floor we have 12 rooms with wide doorways and wheelchair accessible showers at the standerd rate.In addtion our pool has a fixed wheelchair lift and our lifegaurds are trained in using it. Do you want me to book you in 1 of those rooms?” I was so happy as was Emily to get to stay in a real hotel and go in the pool there.

  2. by Melissa Juliet

    On July 25, 2012 at 1:14 am

    Well hotels are a business and if they don’t accommodate to everyone, then they obviously don’t care about the profit they are throwing away. But I think places should be able to choose whether or not they want to put such things in because it is their place and you are a visitor.

    But hospitals and such I understand, but when it comes to a business, it’s their personal place they are putting out there and if they don’t want to front the money to do so, then they would just lose certain costumers. I don’t think it should be a law, if the hotel you are looking at doesn’t accommodate to you, then pick a different hotel. It’s like getting angry because a certain restaurant doesn’t have high chairs, or have what you want on their menu. It’s their space, they should build it how they want and they will attract the kind of people they want.