Interesting Numbers

Across the Big Pond, the Leonard Chesire Charity recently published “Wish You Were Here”, a report about accessible holiday accommodations in the UK. Although they used the report to cite the fact that the tourism industry could be more accommodating to disabled travelers, one particular statistic really caught my eye.

According to the report, a survey of 100 people revealed that one in three folks found their holiday accommodations (lodging) to be inaccessible. Now granted that?s a pretty large number, especially if you are part of the 33% who had your vacation ruined by inaccessible accommodations; however, that figure pales in comparison to a US survey.

According to a 2005 Harris interactive survey, 60% of disabled travelers experienced problems with their overnight lodgings.

That?s double the number of the UK survey.

So what?s the deal? Is the US really less accessible than the UK? Interestingly enough, the Chesire report claims the opposite. In fact it states, “Long-standing disability legislation in the US means that disabled travellers have tended to report more positive experiences, a state of affairs with which Europe has yet to catch up.”

Hmm..I guess those more positive experiences didn?t come from the 60% in the Harris survey.

In any case, the Chesire report calls for pan-European disability standards, so folks will know what to expect access-wise throughout the Continent. Although uniformity is a good thing, it doesn?t necessarily ensure everyone will comply. Look at the US. And if their standards are similar to our own ADA, you can expect different standards for different properties; and that throws the whole uniformity issue right out the window.

Yes, things are far from ideal here in the US. But are they really twice as bad as in the UK?

I?ve always been somewhat skeptical of surveys and statistics. Do they really capture the true picture? These recent numbers have me revisiting that thought.