Wheelchair Users Totally Welcome

31 Dec

Hello, readers! I hope all is well and comfortably temperatured with you (this morning, I was in 0 deg F/-18 deg C. Not what I call comfortable. I feel much better now, three hours south and +60 deg F).

Where was I, you ask, that I was in such cold climes? Why, I was 5 miles from the Grand Canyon*, staying at the Holiday Inn Express in Tusayan, Arizona. Let me tell you about the totally awesome Holiday Inn Express of Tusayan and how much they appreciate the American Disabilities Act!

So, there is a 5-foot tall** TV cabinet in the hotel room (slightly shorter than average USian female height, standing). On top of this, the hotel staff had very kindly placed the bucket for fetching ice, so that any guests unable to reach in such a manner are well aware of their body’s lack of a need of frozen water. Isn’t that so kind of them?

Even better, the wheelchair ramp close to the parking lot was covered in ice and snow, as unlike the stair entrances, they had not been shoveling snow or salting the ice to prevent buildup of dangerous conditions (minor caveat here – I’m not sure whether salt damages wheelchairs, though I would be surprised if it damaged wheelchairs more than salt damages cars driving on salted roads. However, I suspect any damage done by the salt would be negated by the increased safety and mobility of less ice on the ramp).

And breakfast may have been the best part! The 3.5 foot tall counter holding the breakfast buffet had much of the food at my eye-level (5 feet, 3 inches or a little less when standing) so that I had to reach awkwardly to access most of it. And they had these adorable signs on top of the 4-foot trashcans stating “handicap assistance available.” Because, you know, it’s easy to see the top of something taller than oneself. And it’s not at all inconvenient to have to ask for help getting food in a busy, overcrowded breakfast room with people surrounding the food so that it becomes difficult to see what types of food there are. The task of getting help is made even easier by the understaffed front desk, which is seeing to the needs of those checking out of the hotel and answering telephone calls. Besides that, I’m sure people with disabilities are never given social pressure to stop overburdening society with their needs. And I’m quite certain that people using wheelchairs have this magical ability to reduce their need to eat, so wanting second helpings of food would never happen like it does to a good portion of the able-bodied people I saw in the breakfast room. I absolutely support this system of feeding people. You can tell by my tone that I have no qualms about this whatsoever. No, really. None.

So, based on this experience, I think this hotel is really awesome. I love how they’ve chosen to implement the ADA!

EDIT: melhoukia’s excellent post on accommodation of disability was on my mind while writing this, but I couldn’t find the link until after I hit the publish button.

*I did not get to actually see the Grand Canyon, as the entire thing was home to a giant pit of fog all day yesterday, the only day we got to spend there. I got some nice snow images, though!

**I only know these measurements in feet, so here is a link to assist in conversion to Metric units.

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