We have prepared this guide to assist you with assessing whether accommodation is accessible, to help make your trip a more seamless experience.
When booking accommodation, here are a few things to consider and check with the property:
- Is there step-free access from the street and carpark?
- Will lifts accommodate my wheelchair and equipment?
- Are the public spaces (pools/restaurants/bars/meeting rooms) accessible?
- How wide are hallways, doors and ramps?
- Are the room dimensions, including bathroom (toilet position – left or right) and balcony, suitable?
- Is there room to enter, turn and navigate the space?
- What is the height of the bed, and is there sufficient clearance for transfers and equipment, including hoists?
- What are the operating hours?
- How will support workers gain access?
- Will I be guaranteed an accessible space with room to enter and exit my vehicle?
- When hiring equipment, check the specifications closely, for example, the weight capacity of hoists or the types of slings
- Check the emergency plan upon arrival at your place of accommodation, including evacuation procedures and alternatives to lift access.
Travel can present unforeseen problems and travelling with a physical disability can make this a more significant issue. The best thing is to plan, plan, plan!
Here are some tips on how to handle unexpected issues:
If the bed isn’t the correct height:
- Ask if the hotel has bed raisers
- See if your support worker can kneel on the bed to adjust for the transfer.
If the bed placement restricts access:
- Ask the hotel to move the bed or remove furniture you don’t require.
If there are lips or stairs in unavoidable places:
- Does the hotel have a portable ramp?
If the shower isn’t accessible:
- Is a bed bath a feasible alternative?
Accessible Australia app
Our Accessible Australia app is a free online resource where you can access first-hand reviews and experiences and share your feedback to help others.
With listings including hotels, restaurants, cafés, bars, shopping centres, public bathrooms, beaches, parks and more, the number of reviews is growing every day.
Each rating covers accessibility and overall experience, and you can also see the mobility aid used by the reviewer, such as a manual or power wheelchair.
What else can I do?
When searching for accessible accommodation online:
- Select ‘extra features’ and enter words in search boxes such as ‘wheelchair accessible’ or ‘accessible hotel’
- Search listings with ‘accessible destinations’, ‘accessible services’ or ‘accessible activities’
- Seek out recommendations for travel agents experienced in booking accessible accommodation.
Make sure to contact the accommodation provider before booking and request any further information, including photos of the room.
Try to ask questions that prompt more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. This can encourage more detailed and considered responses, helping you to make more informed decisions.