Carlson Hotels Worldwide. is really thinking outside the box as far as access is concerned, with the addition of a new access amenity for their guests with Dwarfism. Beginning next year they will offer Assistive Convenience Kits designed to help make travel more accessible for people of short stature. The kits will be available by July 2007 at all full- service Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, and at select-service Country Inns & Suites By Carlson hotels and Park Inn hotels with more than 120 rooms.
The kits include a stepstool, a reaching tool, a bar to lower the clothes rack in closets and a device to retrofit the latch-hook lock on the door. They were developed with input from Little People of America, a nonprofit organization that provides support and information to people of short stature and their families.
According to Matt Roloff, owner of Direct Access Solutions, the company that created the kits. ?People with dwarfism have largely been ignored in ADA laws and guidelines that pertain to hotel companies providing accessible accommodations.?
I?m not sure I entirely agree with that statement, as the lowering of light switches, thermostats, peepholes and other items that is required under the ADA, not only benefits wheelchair-users, but also people of short stature. On the other hand getting into bed can be a challenge for little people, but to be honest, these days it can also be a challenge for wheelchair-users. That?s because bed height was not taken into consideration when the ADA guidelines were originally crafted.
In any case, I don?t mean to take away from what Carlson Hotels did ? it is a very good thing. They went beyond the letter of the law to make their properties accessible to more people. Now that?s what I call customer service. And hey, wheelchair-users can also benefit from the kit. I mean, let?s be honest, that reaching tool might come in handy.
So remember to request an Assistive Convenience Kit that the next time you check into a Carlson property. Better yet, give them some business for being the good guys.