DOJ Clarifies Service Animal Regulations

New Service Animal FAQs from the DOJ

Although some news sources have reported that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has recently “revised” their regulation on service animals, they have instead clarified regulations that have been on the books for many years. Early this week the DOJ released “Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA” a user-friendly technical assistance document that answers many commonly asked questions about service animals. The publication stems from questions posed to the DOJ and provides guidance on the ADA’s service animal provisions. Continue reading

Drury Gets Access Right

I have to admit that I love Drury properties for the little extras they provide – the popcorn and soda snacks, the Kickback happy hours and the full hot breakfasts. But beyond that, they also seem to have a good handle on access needs; and by that I mean they remember the little things that are often overlooked by other hotel chains. The Drury Suites in McAllen, Texas is a prime example of that, and here are a few of the sometimes forgotten access features that they nailed. Continue reading

Why You Should Bother to File an ADA Complaint

I get a lot of feedback from my readers, and a good chunk of it pertains to what I call “access shortfalls”. In most cases the incident usually involves a hotel or other travel related business that failed to provide appropriate access. And although the degree of severity varies from case to case, my advice is usually the same; “File a complaint with the Depart of Justice (DOJ) for a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

Unfortunately that sage advice is usually met with a deafening silence. Continue reading

Improved Access Coming to Glacier National Park

I had a great time when we visited Glacier National Park last year; however I was a bit disappointed that the iconic Red Bus Tours were not accessible. Well, all that’s about to change, as the new park concessionaire — Xanterra Parks and Resorts — recently announced that they plan to upgrade the fleet and add two accessible buses.

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Circus Circus Clowns Around with Access

For the most part, Las Vegas is a very accessible destination. They have a good supply of accessible taxis, wheelchairs and scooters for loan at many hotels, and good access to the casinos. And the hotel rooms there are some of the most accessible ones I’ve ever seen — some even have ceiling track lifts. Continue reading

When a Roll-in Shower Really Isn’t…

Sometimes I’m a stickler for terminology, and I know that infuriates no small percentage of my friends. But as a writer, I feel that words – the correct words – are very important. Case and point is an incident that happened at a chain hotel yesterday. Continue reading

An Open Letter to Stock Clerks Everywhere

I realize that this time of year can be very busy for you, but I’d like to take a moment to point out an all too common mistake that turns a perfectly accessible store into one that wheelchair-users simply can’t use. And it’s a mistake that you’re directly contributing to, by the way you do your job. Continue reading

An Informal Study on Pool Accessibility

As I make my way across the country on this two-month road trip, I just can’t help checking out the swimming pools at the properties I stay at along the way. Not only do I really enjoy the water, but I’m also interested in seeing how many properties are taking steps to be in compliance with the new ADA accessibility regulations for pools and spas. Granted, the regulations don’t go into effect until January 2013, but I’m just curious about how we are doing right now. And although it’s far from a scientific study, here’s what I found out about pool accessibility – or lack thereof – in a wide range of properties across America. Continue reading

Top Five Access Oversights

I see a lot of accessible rooms and do a lot of site inspections in my travels; and granted, some properties fare much better than others access-wise. I’m an optimist at heart though, and believe that everyone who makes the effort to add access features to their property has good intentions. But you know what they say about the road to Hell and good intentions.

Still, I’m genuinely glad folks make the effort , especially when many are not required to add access features. Continue reading