Wheelchair Jimmy Accessibility Ratings (WJAR)
The WheelChair Jimmy Accessibility Ratings (WJAR) as used on this website means "usability" where persons in wheelchairs can navigate independently without the assistance of third parties. The WJAR rating does not indicate full compliance with all technical accessibility standards outlined in The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The WJAR is meant to be a manual wheelchair friendly index that factors in the following criteria:
- The ability to get a standard manual wheelchair into a bathroom stall with a minimum 30 inch width door opening, with room to maneuver, close the stall door, turn to make a transfer to the toilet seat and have reasonable convenience and privacy;
- The installation by hotels, restaurants and others of high quality, commercial grade elevators permitting easy access into and throughout the property to persons in wheelchairs;
- The installation by hotels, restaurants and others of commercial grade ramps to avoid restrictive steps and permitting full wheelchair access to all reasonable portions of a facility;
- Providing wheelchair building entry through the main property entrance rather than through side doors, passageways or the kitchen;
- Providing at least 3 wheelchair accessible guestrooms / bathrooms and 2 accessible roll-in showers if a hotel has 75 or more total rooms (smaller hotels and B&Bs are applauded for providing at least a single accessible room with roll-in shower);
- Providing an accessible hotel room within a reasonable rolling distance of the registration desk;
- Providing beds and faucets that are convenient in height (bed height not in excess of 30 inches); providing beds without large frames to make transferring from a wheelchair to the bed more convenient.
The WJAR index is also influenced by whether a hotel has an adjoining restaurant and bar. After a day of travel and checking into a hotel, it is inconvenient to have to transfer back into a vehicle and find a restaurant and / or bar, and then repeat the transfer process and return to the hotel. To qualify for a WJAR 4 or 5 rating, a hotel must provide a restaurant and bar.
Any hotel or restaurant that requires a wheelchair guest to ask for accessibility assistance cannot receive greater than a WJAR 2. These situations include (i) the use of low quality, small hydralic elevators (lifts) or freight elevator which often do not work or require a special key and / or third party to operate, (ii) being forced to call ahead to a facility to unlock a front entrance door or put out a ramp, and (iii) requiring wheelchair users to go through the facility kitchen or use employees hallways and / or restrooms for accessibility.
The WJAR index does not factor in wheelchair accessible equipment for transferring and lowering a person into a hotel pool although we attempt to note the availability of such equipment whenever possible.
International properties (located outside the U.S.) are given a bit of tolerance based on historical country standards but any deviations from the above are noted, and all international properties receive personal onsite reviews by WheelchairJimmy.
WheelchairJimmy.com ratings and rankings are based on feedback received from customers, phone and onsite interviews with the businesses, and publicly available information. 100% of the hotels, restaurants and cruise lines reviewed on WheelchairJimmy.com have been researched and/ or interviewed.
Hotel Accessiblity Ratings
There are currently no standards established for a well-designed roll-in shower. I have found roll-in showers with secure, bolted-in, pull-down seats where the showers controls are easily reached and the shower configuration convenient for a simple transfer. I have also found many roll-in showers which (i) place shower controls where they cannot be reached from the bench seat, (ii) have flimsy plastic removable seats or no seat whatsoever, (iii) have poor drainage grade permitting water to run throughout the bathroom floor and (iv) are simply poorly configured. Since there are no well established roll-in shower designs, the WJAR index does not factor in shower design although we attempt to note design whenever possible.
Very wheelchair friendly. No restrictive steps that impede full hotel access. Accessible restroom in hotel lobby. Accessible hotel guestrooms and roll-in shower availability. Has full restaurant and bar. More spacious facility. Well designed accessible bathrooms with extra counter space. Beds, sinks and faucets at convenient height. Accessibility to pool area if included at hotel, but not neccessarily accessible equipment to be lowered into pool. Very clean.
No restrictive steps that impede full hotel access. Accessible restroom in hotel lobby. Accessible hotel guestrooms / bathrooms and roll-in shower availability. Has full restaurant and bar. Accessibility to pool area if included at hotel, but not neccessarily accessible equipment to be lowered into pool. Very clean.
Wheelchairs accessible with accessible guestrooms / bathrooms. Few or no restrictive steps that impede full hotel access. These facilities may have some areas which are not accessible. Wheelchair access may require accessing buildings through a side door. These facilities will offer wheelchair accessible guestrooms and bathrooms but may have no roll-in showers. These facilities may have no wheelchair accessible restroom in the hotel lobby. These facilities may have no restaurant, bar or breakfast service. May have steps to pool area if a pool is included at hotel.
Difficult wheelchairs access but accessible guestrooms / bathrooms. These facilities may be located on a relatively steep hill, have difficult parking at rush hour times or have a maximum of 2 steps at entrance. These facilities may have some areas which are not accessible or require wheelchair guests to use lower quality, small hydraulic elevators (lifts) or freight elevator which may require hotel operator assistance. These properties may provide guestrooms with bed height in excess of 30 inches. Wheelchair access may require accessing buildings through a side door. These facilities may require wheelchair guests to use employee hallways and/or restrooms for accessibility. These facilities may have only 1-3 accessible rooms and a limited number or no roll-in showers. These facilities may have no wheelchair accessible restroom in the hotel lobby. These facilities may have no restaurant, bar or breakfast service. These facilities may have steps to pool area (if a pool is included at hotel). Generally difficult / poor access.
Not recommended. Not wheelchair accessible due to steps and / or no wheelchair accessible restroom in guest room.
Restaurant Accessiblity Ratings
Most restaurants have some areas that have poor wheelchair accessible seating. Bar areas in particular are often limited to bar stools only or "high top" tables. We have attempted to note these as often as possibe but have not downgraded these restarants.
Many restaurants have private dining rooms (either upstairs or downstairs) that have multiple steps and are not wheelchair accessible. If the main dining room is very wheelchair accessible, but there are steps to private dining rooms, we have provided a maximum WJAR 3 index for these restaurants. We always attempt to provide a "WARNING" note for these restaurants. All too often I have attended a meeting, office party, conference or reception at a great restaurant, only to find the event is located in an upstairs private dining room accessible only with a flight of stairs. I am very sensitive to these situations, so please watch for my Warning notes.
Best of Class. Very wheelchair friendly with no restrictive steps. More spacious facility. Well designed accessible restroom with sinks and faucets at convenient height. Most seating is wheelchair accessible including portions of the bar. Very clean.
Very wheelchair friendly with accessible restroom and no restrictive steps. Most seating is wheelchair accessible although bar area seating may not be available.Very clean.
Wheelchair accessible with accessible restroom and no restrictive steps on main dining level. May have steps to upper or lower level private dining. Wheelchair accessible seating although some areas may not be accessible including the bar. Wheelchair access may require accessing buildings through a side entrance.
Challenging but wheelchair accessible with wheelchair accessible restroom. These facilities may be located on a relatively steep hill or have a maximum of 2 steps at entrance and may have steps to upper or lower level private dining.. These facilities may have some areas which are not accessible or use lower quality, small hydralic elevators or freight elevators which may require operator assistance. Wheelchair access may require accessing buildings through a side entrance. Wheelchair persons (i) may have to use employee restrooms, hallways or kitchen areas for accessibility or (ii) call ahead to a facility to unlock a front entrance door or put out a temporary ramp. May be a small restaurant with limited accessible seating and challenging access.
Not recommended. Not wheelchair accessible due to steps and / or no wheelchair accessible restroom.
Restaurant Pricing Scale
$$$$ = $51 and over
$$$ = $31 to $50
$$ = $30 and under