Frequently Asked Questions
about Wheelchair Accessible Travel and the Wheelchair Jimmy website
How does your Accessibility Rating factor in ADA requirements?
The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) details specific minimum standards for accessible design - both scoping and technical - to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. Our accessible ratings is similar when rating accessible restrooms but is more of a "usability" rating for persons using a normal width manual wheelchair as they encounter hotels, restaurants and other facilities. See WheelChair Jimmy's Accessible Ratings page for more details of the factors involved in determining our ratings.
When I reserve an accessible hotel room, how can I be certain I will get an accessible room when
I check-in and not a regular room?
Unfortunately many hotels are not fully automated and reservation persons do not properly "block" the room at the time of reservation. When making a reservation ask whether they can "block" the accessible room for your date of arrival. Additionally, we suggest you call the hotel 48 hours in advance of your arrival to confirm your accessible room.
Some beds sit higher and/or have frames around the bed that makes transferring into the bed difficult. Does your Accessibility Rating account for bed height and bed frames?
We attempt to visit as many hotels and accessible rooms as possible and always attempt to note abnormal bed height and frames. We have found the vast majority of accessible rooms have normal height beds and no frames. However it is not possible to physically visit each accessible hotel room. Additionally, hotels often have different configurations of accessible rooms. We recommend you call the hotel directly and inquire about these issues if you have further concerns.
Does your Accessibility Rating include availability of roll-in showers?
Yes. Every hotel in our database lets us know the approximate total number of accessible rooms (with bathtubs) and the number of roll-in showers. This data is included in the individual property detail for each hotel included on our website. Many hotels have accessible rooms but may have no roll-in shower. These hotels can still earn a 3 Star Accessibility Rating. If you require a roll-in shower, we advise you make this specific request at the time you make your reservation, and the have the hotel "block" that room for your arrival date.
Your "Comments" include references to "small hydraulic lifts". What does this reference mean?
To become more "accessible" many hotels and restaurants have installed small, low quality, manually operated hydraulic "lifts" which can carry one wheelchair bound passenger up or down a few steps or even one floor. These lifts normally require a special key to operate and often require the assistance of hotel or restaurant personnel. Additionally, these lifts frequently have mechanical problems and are out-of-order.
When these lifts require operator assistance, they can require a 15 to 20 minutes wait or more to locate the lift operator. We strongly dislike these small hydraulic elevators because of their inconvenience, and we always attempt to list them in our Comments. A hotel or restaurant cannot earn one of our 3, 4 or 5 Star ratings if they have one of these small hydraulic lifts installed.
Does Wheelchair Jimmy get involved with any disability advocacy groups to improve wheelchair travel accessibility?
Absolutely! Our mission is to improve the nature of wheelchair travel worldwide. We are currently working on 3 initiatives:
- We are actively involved in an attempt to amend the Air Carrier Access Act which was passed by the United States Congress in 1986. We are proposing that all airlines provide wheelchair accessible lavatories on single aisle aircraft.
- We are also planning that the United States Congress pass a law that provides that handicapped parking spaces can only be used by persons utilizing wheelchairs, scooters, walkers and canes.