Disabled Travel: Booking and accommodation
A big part of any holiday is deciding where to stay. Access for disabled people has improved considerably - mainly because of the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995.
Often a disability is not obvious to other people, so make sure you explain your particular requirements clearly when booking accommodation or dealing with a travel company.
You should not assume that staff will automatically know or understand your needs. This is particularly important when booking by phone, post or on the Internet.
Importantly, ask about what the place you want to stay at has to offer you.
Hotels and businesses differ in what they offer. For example, some places will be fully accessible to a wheelchair user travelling independently. Others may be accessible to people who have limited mobility but can walk a few paces.
Some charities produce guides detailing specific holiday accommodation. They may detail information such as whether there are:
* ground floor bedrooms
* wide corridors and doorways
* menus and other information in Braille
* adaptations in the rooms
* staff trained to assist disabled people
It's also worth checking if companions, or carers, can accompany you at a discounted rate - or even free.
If an accommodation provider includes a National Accessible Scheme symbol in their signage or advertising, this means that the business meets the scheme's criteria for providing accessible facilities and services for disabled people.