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UK Has ‘Only 16 Hotels With Full Disabled Access’

Going away on holiday can present extra challenges for disabled people, from travelling, to arranging suitable accommodation. Shockingly, disability rights campaigners say that just 16 hotels in the UK offer full disabled access. This has led to disabled guests having to sleep in their chairs, or be unable to access the bathroom, despite paying a full fee.

Inews reports that although the law requires that hotels make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for disabled people, there are no clearly defined requirements, and many hotels offer the bare minimum. The crucial piece of equipment that is often lacking is a ceiling hoist, which enables the user to get in and out of bed, and use the bathroom. 

Even major cities, such as Manchester, Birmingham, and Glasgow, were found to have just one hotel with a hoist each. London fared the best, with six hotels equipped with a ceiling hoist. However, this means that there are just 10 hotels around the rest of the country that offer full disabled access, which puts off many disabled people from travelling.

The survey was carried out by Steve Catlin, who runs the Ceiling Hoists users Community (CHUC). He told I News: “The world is a draining place for somebody in a wheelchair. The UK actually leads the way, most countries rely on mobile hoists, but it’s a dismal lead.”

“Lots of people would travel here, for domestic tourism and overseas tourism, but there just aren’t the facilities. Improving access is not just about benefitting disabled people in terms of the opportunity to move around, but it’s demonstrating that they want disabled people to come and stay.” 

Steve pointed out: “Being disabled isn’t tragic – it’s an issue of social justice. For me as a disabled person, I’m completely happy with the way my body functions. What I’m not happy with is the way in which as a society we don’t offer routes for participation and inclusion.”

The problem is not just limited to hotels, of course. Every year, stories appear in the press about wheelchair users being stranded on train platforms without access to lifts that are in working order, if they have been installed at all. Disabled passengers can often have difficulty getting adequate assistance at airports as well. 

Fazilet Hadi, head of policy at Disability Rights UK, commented: “Disabled people should be able to go on holiday just like everyone else but the barriers to making this happen can sometimes feel enormous.”

“Catching a train or getting on a plane may have to be planned in advance, to ensure that passenger assistance is in place. As we know from recent high profile media stories, this journey can go badly wrong for disabled customers.”

Campaigners are calling for a compulsory requirement for at least one ceiling hoist to be made available for every 100 hotel rooms in the UK. The government is currently reviewing the building regulations, but so far has not committed to any permanent changes.


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