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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Travel Hassles are as Needless: One Example we Should Follow.

I have spent a lot of time on the road this year. I love to travel and I especially love driving. In fact I noticed that my car, purchased four years ago, has over 80,0000 miles. Keep in mind in 2010 I went nowhere and my car was rarely driven. I am making up for lost time in the last 18 months. On my long drives I get great thinking done. I write articles in my head, make plans for the future, and dream of going to the Baffin Islands. I also think of more realistic trips I would like to take; for instance I would love to see every Canadian city that has an OHL team. Not all my thoughts are so rosy. I often think about why travel for people with a disability is such a hassle.  Far too often I enter a hotel or motel and the desk clerk looks at me like a deer in the headlights. As is often the case, a lowered desk exists so I can actually see and be seen by a desk clerk. To me this is an obvious ADA accommodation but is more often than not exactly where plants, brochures, clip boards, etc. are located defeating its purpose. This is just part of my life. I give such small violations little thought until today when I saw a link to a hotel in the UK. I was taken aback that the below information was posted on the website.


ACCESS STATEMENT

We aim to provide the highest standards of service to all our guests and we look forward to welcoming you to The Midland and making your stay an enjoyable one. Facilities available for guests with disability needs are as follows:

Arrival

Directions to The Midland are available by clicking here, or by calling the hotel on 0161 236 3333

As you arrive at The Midland you will find parking facilities at the front of the Hotel two of which are reserved for blue badge holders. Upon arrival your vehicle can be valet parked at the Manchester Central NCP Car Park (Hotel Rate Charged) as the front of the hotel is for dropping off and picking up only. There is a level paved route from the disabled parking into the hotel where the main entrance has two revolving doors and an automated side doors as well as two manually operated wide access doors.

Concierge will be available to valet park your vehicle. If you need assistance with luggage or equipment our team of Door Staff, Porters and Concierge are on duty 24 hours.

Reception

The Reception desk is located on the ground floor of the hotel in the entrance lobby. We do have a reception desk for guests who arrive in wheelchairs and our Reception team will make this facility available as required.

You will be offered a personal check-in service with a full explanation of the hotel's facilities together with a familiarisation tour if required. Assistance is available to help take your luggage to your room.

Reception staff will also brief you on our evacuation policy and please note on your registration card if you feel that you will require specific assistance in the event of an evacuation.

The following accessible aids are available at Reception:

• Portable Induction Loop for use at Reception

• Large Button Phone

• Vibrating Pad to assist waking guests with hearing disabilities in the event of a fire alarm

To the left hand side of the Main Reception Foyer are the lifts to all floors for bedrooms, leisure club and meeting rooms.

Bedrooms

The Midland has 10 purpose built disabled rooms situated on the first, second and third floors. Nineteen of our suites / bedrooms interconnect to make a double room for use by a carer or children. Twin and double bed combinations are available.

In the bedroom there is transfer space and turning of at least 120cm either side of beds.

The flooring in our bedrooms is short pile carpet and the flooring in the bathrooms is tiled. Reading lamps are provided. Mini-bar fridges are supplied in each room and room service is 24 hours. Items of furniture can also be moved or removed on request.

The bathrooms are designed with an accessible wheel-in shower / wall mounted drop down seat and appropriate grab rails. Emergency pull cords link directly to reception from both the bedroom and bathroom. Horizontal and vertical grab rails are positioned at the side of the toilet.

In the event of fire alarm activation these rooms have both a sounder and a visual flashing light. In the event of an emergency a member of the team will assist with your evacuation if necessary. Fire evacuation advice is provided on the back of your bedroom door and a disabled refuge area is situated on every floor in case staff need to summon extra assistance during your evacuation.

Public areas

Appropriate arrangements have been made to allow easy access for disabled guests to the Octagon Lounge, French Restaurant and Wyvern Bar. The Colony Restaurant which is located on the ground floor is also easily accessible.

The public telephones are located to the left of Reception on the GMEX Corridor. There are phones at varying heights and one with a seat beside it.

All lifts have audible enunciation and tactile buttons at standard height.

Accessible toilet facilities are located within easy reach of all of our Public and Meeting Room Areas.

There is good network coverage for mobile phones within the hotel. All networks work.

Conference, Banqueting & Meeting Rooms

Our Meeting Rooms are located on the First Floor (The Lancaster, The Rolls, The Royce, The Derby, The Houghton and The Chester); The Ground Floor (The Alexander Suite); and the Lower Ground Floor (The Victoria Suite) and are easily accessible from Reception. The First Floor Meeting Rooms are easily accessed via the lifts; The Alexander Suite (Ground Floor) has a Disabled Stairlift on its Staircase that is accessed to the left of Reception. The Victoria Suite (Lower Ground Floor) can be accessed via The Main Reception Lifts.

Hearing loops are available upon request in advance. Lighting can be dimmed where required.

Please notify your conference or banquet Organiser for specific seating or staging requirements.

Accessible toilets are located within easy reach of all of our Public Areas, Meeting Rooms and Banqueting Suites

Reflections Leisure and Spa

Our Leisure Club is located on the lower ground floor. A member of the leisure team will show you the facilities and assist with access to the swimming pool and spa. Access to the poolside is on the same level and there are steps with a handrail into the shallow end of the pool. The sauna's are accessible via the changing rooms with door widths of 63cm and a step of 8cm in the ladies and 59cm and 14cm in the Men's. Seating is provided in both.

Outdoor Facilities

There are no outdoor facilities.

Alternative means of transport

If not travelling by car the nearest bus/ tram stop is located on Peter Street/Oxford Road adjacent to the front right hand side of the Hotel. The bus / tram routes will take you to the majority of Manchester's City Centre and Suburbia as well as Manchester Airport and the Cities 4 Main Train Stations (Piccadilly, Oxford Road, Victoria and Deansgate).

An accessible taxi service is available directly outside the front of the Hotel. You can also book a taxi at our Reception/ Concierge Desk

The Midland is located within 2 minutes of the Town Hall and the main Shopping Arcades of the City.
Local equipment hire companies: - The Wheelchair Centre
229 Droylsden Road, Audenshaw, Manchester M34 5ZT.
Tel: 0161-370 2661. Fax: 0161-370 5949.

Local public transport numbers:

Bus:- Manchester Buses, Chorlton Street Central Bus Station & National Express Coach Services - 0161-242 6040 or 0870 608 2 608

Train:- National rail enquiry service 08457 48 49 50 - Piccadilly train station or Manchester Victoria station

Local accessible taxi numbers:- Mantax - 0161 230 3333 - All our fleet is wheelchair accessible.
This is extraordinary but what struck me is how easy this was to produce. I would speculate that the above took about a day to create. It is amazingly helpful and useful. A clear concise narrative that answers each and every question I have when I travel.  And this in turn made me wonder exactly why every hotel in the United States does not do the same thing.

9 comments:

Second Summit said...

This example is excellent.

Thanks so much for sharing!

william Peace said...

It really is remarkable.

Wheelchair Dancer said...

They get my business.

william Peace said...

WD, This makes me want to get on a plane and go to the UK. Any hotel that does this will get my business.

Nessie Siler said...

And mine as well! :) Here's hoping i can go someday...

Middle Child said...

Amazing - am wondering is Management might have a disabled relative... Don and I were forgotten about when the Motel caught on fire a few floors below us. Nobody came. Finally a drunk English man and a korean man from adjoining rooms helped drag carry Don down the flights of stairs - and the Korean man stayed with us in the Foyer till the Firemen noticed us and carried Don outside - It was 4am - We made a big noise and forever grateful the the help we did get - but it was always a worry when we travelled. It happened more than once but this was the worst.

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