Starting March 15, 2012, a new provision of the Americans with Disabilities Act takes effect. The provision allows people with disabilities or those with special needs to be able to make reservations for accessible guest rooms the same way that people without any special needs or disabilities make reservations – electronically, in person, telephonically or through a third party.
The provision states that the reservation staff of hotels, resorts, campgrounds and other forms of lodging must:
- Have up to 10% of all guest rooms provide mobility accessibility and communication devices. These rooms must be the same types of rooms that the hotel provides other guests, including classes of guest rooms, number of beds, types of amenities and choices.
- Identify accessible features in guest rooms (e.g. guest room door widths, availability of roll-in showers, tubs with grab bars, communication features, etc.) and other hotel or resort amenities in “sufficient detail” so that an individual with a disability can make an independent assessment whether the hotel meets his or her accessibility needs. This might include photos or other images. “Sufficient detail” is a blurry area, so if certain features are necessary, like bed heights, bar placement, types of beds, etc., ask about them specifically.
- Reserve and hold a specific room for that specific guest with a disability. That specific room must be removed from the reservation system to avoid double booking and ensure that when you arrive that room is available for you.
- Hold accessible rooms back for reservation by people with disabilities until all non-accessible rooms of that type/class have been rented.
- Must no longer merely take an accessible room request; it must be a confirmed reservation so that you know you will have an accessible room when you arrive.
The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is an advocate for mobility and accessibility for drivers with disabilities. If you need help with converting or buying a handicap accessible car, truck or van, please consider one of our mobility equipment dealers.