There are two ways of finding hotels that have accessibility features that work for you. Method 1: The first method is by searching for a hotel using an Access Criteria such as Upper Body Impairment, Visual Impairment, or Wheelchair User. This will find hotels that have basic features that are useful to anyone that fits the chosen Access Criteria. While this method will identify hotels that have met the basic accessibility criteria, we suggest you use this method as a first pass to finding a set of hotels that are accessible for you. Method 2: To find hotels that are more suited to your specific accessibility requirements and preferences, we suggest you sign up and create your own Access Profile. Your Access Profile describes how you interact with your environment, from moving around a space, to communicating with people, to reading / taking in information. This information will allow us to find a hotel that is a better fit for your specific requirements. Creating your Access Profile will also allow us to show you an Access Match Score for each hotel, which will tell you not only how well the hotel meets your accessibility preferences, but how many areas of the hotel are accessible for you. The more accessible the hotel is for you, the higher the score, allowing you to easily compare accessibility across hotels!
We have consulted the most relevant and respected international hotel accessibility guidelines available. This includes the UK Building Regulations Part M (Access to and Use of Buildings other than dwellings, 2015 Edition) and The Americans with Disabilities Act Checklist for Existing Facilities (ver. 2.1). Wherever there is a discrepancy between the guidelines, we will always take into account the widest measurement as can be seen by the below example:
Minimum effective clear widths of doors:
In addition, UMOJA is a member of ENAT (European Network for Accessible Tourism), so we have also drawn upon the rich accessibility regulations that the network has created including the Europe for all Self Assessment Questionnaire for Hotels and Self Catering and The Photo and Measurement Guide.
First of all you’ll need to create and register your free account, which you can do here.
After registering, you’ll have the option to create your Access Profile. This takes the format of a series of straightforward questions asking how you interact with your environment (e.g. whether you need a particular gradient of ramp, width of door and even type of door handle). It’s a quick process as well that won’t take you more than 10 minutes to complete.
This is high on our agenda and we have already started the process in several of the locations that we are working in. In the UK for example we are working with the Lonely Planet as well as 3 accessibility-focussed partners to deliver this additional content. We are also trialling something similar in several Indian locations including Goa. Watch this space for much more information coming very soon.
UMOJA is a member of the Expedia Affiliate Network. As many hotels already have commercial relations with Expedia this allows us to seamlessly integrate these hotels into our systems. Ultimately, this will enable us to quickly develop our library of hotels and offer you an even wider variety of accessibility options in even more locations!!
While we currently have hotel partners in a limited number of destinations, we’re adding more every day! The best way to keep up-to-date with new accessible destinations we find is to sign-up to our mailing list here. We’d also love to help you plan a trip to a destination we are not currently in. Leave us your details here and we’ll see if we can make it happen!