Caters to Disabilities?
Though Richard and I called the Washington Jefferson hotel on West 51st Street in Manhattan, New York weeks before our honeymoon to see if it was handicap friendly, and they agreed it was... We came to find out it was not. We gave the trip an 8/10 because if we couldn't get that hotel in the city, then we wouldn't be able to have the amazing honeymoon that we did since everywhere we went was in the city. But I do feel I must write this because it does not cater to all disabilities, and had I not been there with my husband I would have had a lot of problems. It's actually so important that I'm posting this on two different blogs.
My first issue was with the ramp, it was narrow, and it narrowed out as we reached the stairs and the doors. For half a second, I thought I was going to fall down the stairs right outside the hotel. The hallways in the hotel were narrow, and with my wheelchair wider than the average wheelchair that didn't make me feel too comfortable. And with my wheelchair's legs I almost couldn't make turns in the hallway. Then the elevator is very tiny, but after having a short conversation with another patron and Richard I've come to realize that's likely because the Washington Jefferson is a historical building. Had I been alone, I would not have been able to control the temperature in my own room because the gauges were too high. And although, I understand where they were coming from putting a hard board under the mattress, it made the bed much too hard. It probably was to help keep the bed stiff for those who need a sturdy surface, but it actually made the bed too hard. It caused Richard to have severe back pain which he's not used to, and it made my usually severe pain ten times worse. I had to exercise more, take more of my pain medication from pain management, and put on more Salampases (pain patches), the biggest ones I had, just to break even pain-wise.
Then there was the bathroom, that had a lot of good with some not so good. There were safety bars on every wall, and on the toilet, but the towels were up too high. The threshold impeded me about half the time because there was only a standing shower, but like as soon as you're in the bathroom you're already in the shower. There was a pull down seat for it, but since I couldn't take the shower head off the wall or move it up and down as I needed so I couldn't shower there. I also couldn't close the door behind myself, and if I had ever been extremely unlucky the hotel room door was across from the bathroom so there could have been a chance someone could have seen me. Then there was the fact the bathroom was, as Richard says, twenty degrees colder, than the rest of the room, and where that has little bearing on my disability it may have a bigger bearing on other disabilities.
So the 8/10 was the rating of the whole vacation. I would give the hotel a 7/10, and I think it would be best if they could talk to actual disabilities because there is more to disabilities than a ramp, elevator, and safety bars. The ramp and elevators are important, very important but they need to be wide enough for all chair types and more. Plus, we need to keep in mind there are so much more than just wheelchair based disabilities.
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