disabled fac ilities

Hi, just let my dander get the better of me!

Sis has just had a lovely mini break in Southport. The hotel was great and advertises having ,2 rooms adapted for disabled.

I emailed them and asked if they could cater for me and that I need a ceiling hoist, electric profiling bed and wheel in shower with shower chair,/commode.

They replied explaining they could only provide the shower and chair.

I lost my rag and said how disappointing it is to constantly find accommodation providers who advertise as being disabled friendly, when they provide only minimal facilities.

It seems in the commercial hospitality trade, we disabled shouldn’t be so demanding! Or we should only be a bit disabled!



your right Poll, its so annoying when a place advertises as suitable for disabled when quite clearly its not, we are made to feel as though we are being unreasonable,when will the industry wake up this,you either cater for the diabled or you dont,simple as.

J x

Ignorance abounds within the accommodation field/general service providers.

Some of the experiences I have come across where this has happened are:

I booked in for a haircut, with a local stylist, after explaining my situation and was told that the steps at the front of the shop were steep, but the back staff entrance was OK.

I got ready to go, ( an expedition in itself, eh?) and got a phone call. A different member of staff thought the back room would be better to use. The staff room which is unheated and ‘a bit dark’. Seeing as it was mid January and freezing cold, I cancelled the appointment!

Another hairdresser told me there was just 1 step, so couldn’t I just get out of my chair whilst they lifted it in!!!

As I said, ignorance abounds!


The trouble is that we are a minority group.
Even worse is that the group is made up of a number of even smaller groups.
So, excluding Poll for a moment, where does “Limited Mobility” fit into “Disabled”, and how do we get a clear definition.

I can walk (after a fashion) with Zimmer, 3-wheeled walker, or sticks.
I do not do steps. I cannot get into a normal bath at all, and even some showers can beat me.
I may not need a commode.

Obviously, my “Disabled” is nowhere as bad as Poll’s “Disabled”. Equally, we represent two different points on the scale of “Disabled” - and there is no way that anyone can tell what the difference is.

OK, so the easy answer is to have classes of disablilty (no, not the dreaded EDSS), but this brings it’s own problems.
Just imagine “OMG, I’ve been reclassified as Class 3”.
Or imagine what a government could do “This benefit is only available to Class 4 and above”.
Imagine an ATOS-like company in charge of deciding which category one of us is in.

The up-side would be that a hotel (etc) could now advertise “Disabled friendly - Classes 1 & 2 only” or similar.

I found somewhere that was acceptable to me - but it is in Northern France. Now imagine the rest of the planning for a few days break - including the 4-hour drive to get to Dover, and Le Shuttle.

What you have done, Poll, is to highlight a problem that few people even know exists.



geoff well said!

poll i understand ur frustration, especially nowadays.

i recently questioned why i dont see others on powerchairs using public transport (maybe its more common doooown south-i dunno) the answer i was given? because you are not meant to be seen in public!

now this didnt upset me at all-on the contrary it got me thinking!

yes this person was probably correct! i only have sight in one eye, am doubly incontinent, cant talk properly blah blah blah but for the time being i am still alive so choose to live as i can.

i was meant to be away for 2 days next week but have had to cancel cos i took ill after my tysabri on tue-dr been etc and am being treated now-phew-but its been a rough few days.

nobody understands what effect ms/infections have on ME. yes there is the textbook procedure to follow but my system hasnt read that book!

fortunately my gp (and his colleagues) have read the using your wits and knowledge book! my neuro i think has too but i dont really know him-its the gp practise that has to deal with me at ‘crisis’ point.

right i am waffling now-sorry! i was trying to say that severely disabled prob means that i shouldnt be ‘fit’ to go on holiday. but if i (and anybody else) feels up to it then as geoff says we are an extremely tiny minority and from a business point of view we are not worth it (from a human point of view we def are!)

oh the person who told me that i should not be seen was my mum! please dont lynch her! she is a tower of strength to me helping me keep a grip on reality. she is a very honest woman and she is right on this occasion-folk dont like to be reminded of those less able than themselves. easier to blank it out and pretend its not happening. that goes for lots of things that happen in daily life-not just illness.

och well-back to my wee real life-time for more med and try to swallow with these glass bottles in my throat!

be happy all!


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The first consultant neuro l went to see about my MS - We did have private health insurance then - so l did get an appointment straightaway. But when l got there - very swish consulting rooms - up two flights of stairs with no lift!!

Whenever I’ve looked at holidays/hotels over the last few years, I’ve been stunned by the huge variations in “accessible”, “suitable for disabled”, “adapted” facilities. I’ve ended up always now asking for clear photos and even these aren’t always exactly helpful. For example, I need bars on both sides of the loo to stand up/sit down. In many places one or both bars are about 2 feet away so aren’t in anyway useable. This happened to be the case in a hotel in Bangalore, India and it was obvious from the pictures. The solution there was for the hotel to get a folding frame to go around the loo. Great, we thought, and booked it. When we got there, we discovered that the frame didn’t fit round the loo with the lid up (which is kind of necessary). I ended up having to use the folded up frame and one arm of the wheelchair to stand up from the loo - for 10 days. Also in India, the shower had a marble bench seat. It had a fabulous grab rail all around so I thought it would be fine. Unfortunately I’d not thought that when marble is wet, it’s incredibly slippery, and so very dangerous. So the shower was totally unsafe. In India, the hotel staff will do all they can to help. With the shower they got some mats which helped a lot and I just managed with my husbands’ help. They also raised the bed, I’d not thought in advance that anyone would put a super low bed in a disabled room, but then I suppose many Indians are very small, it seemed to them that a low bed was better than a high one. it seems to me that wherever we go there’s some degree of not quite rightness about the accommodation. In Malta the room was Ok but the shower was a monsoon head that meant you couldn’t get your head out of the spray. A holiday home we rented in France was OK but we had to take a loo frame with us. My experience is now to see pictures, ask questions, get details about door widths, bed heights, etc and be extremely picky. After all, holidays are supposed to be enjoyable. Better to get all the nit picking done in advance if possible.


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I wonder just how many people in Britain are as disabled as Poll, and of those, how many are interested in even attempting to go away to a hotel? I know it’s a bit of a catch-22, as if the facilities aren’t there, they can’t attract disabled customers, so round and round we go…

But bearing in mind the huge investment to equip a room with hoists etc, I wonder just what the take-up would be? It would never pay for itself if it’s occupied just once a year by Poll (or Poll’s clone). Are there enough people that severely disabled, who would want to go to that particular hotel, to make sure the (very expensive) facilities aren’t lying unused 90% of the time?

Hotels are businesses, after all. They can’t afford to lay on specialist facilities unless their market research indicates there would be a pretty strong take-up. No hotel can afford to invest in facilities (even non-disabled ones) that are unused most of the time.

That is a shame if it means Poll can’t have what she wants, but I wonder just how many “Polls” there are, to make it pay?

Let’s say in future I have similar needs to Poll: does that mean I want to go to the same hotel as her? No, probably not. I expect I have my own priorities for places I’d like to visit, and the chances of those coinciding with Poll’s, just because we’re both disabled, are fairly slim. So does the hotel get my business and Poll’s? No, probably not - they get just one of us. The fact there are other disabled people out there who could use the facilities doesn’t mean they necessarily want to. What if most aren’t interested in visiting that place?

Can you make it super-dooper enough that people would travel from far and wide just for the facilities, even though they’re not that interested in the place? I don’t know.



I was looking at cruises recently and have discovered there’s a company who can provide all the equipment an individual may need. The user rents the equipment and the company supplies and installs it in the cabin. They do mobility, moving/handling, sleeping and bathing/toiletting equipment. Obviously this is additional to the (mostly hugely expensive) cost of the cruise itself. We were considering trying a cruise purely because of the difficulties of going on holiday (hotel rooms, etc) - it seemed like the hotel moves to the lovely places rather than us having to travel to get anywhere. However, we discovered that there are many ports where the disabled can’t get off the ship, plus any shore excursions are limited because of transport issues. Ultimately it would be like staying in a vast, expensive hotel, that you can’t get out of! We decided against cruises!

However, it’s a shame there’s not an affordable means of getting all the necessary equipment to our choice of hotel in a similar way. That way Poll (or Tina or whoever) could get exactly the equipment she needs for her holiday and I could get what I need for mine!! But it would be an expensive service and rather unwieldy.

Mmm, so should I stay home and be satisfied that at least some of my disabled peers are getting out? No, I flaming well

won’t! I have money to spend!

I go to Scope once week. The majority of us are as disabled as me and some worse. They go on holiday abroad. So far in this country, I have found hotels in Blackpool, Llandudno, London, which cater for my needs. I would like a bit more to choose from.

We need to keep shouting! We’ll get nowt unless we do!

Boudicca reigns…sometimes!



Geoff, your idea of grading is a really good one. It could be like the e grading for abroad.


Anitra - I totally disagree with you.

A hotel can’t advertise itself as being disabled friendly and then refuse access to some people because of their disability.

I think Dr. Geoff has explained the problem very well. Disabilities are so diverse that no establishment could ever guarantee it is able to accommodate every single thing that might conceivably be wrong with anyone.

I personally would interpret “disability friendly” to mean little more than step-free access. Not that they have hoists, commodes etc. What else might people need? Oxygen, perhaps, with some conditions?

There’s a big difference between “disability friendly” and being able to provide specialist facilities for the more extreme forms of disability - the latter is usually called a nursing home or respite care, not a hotel!

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You might want to take a look at:
and think that “I can pass up some of the adventurous stuff”.

No-one - but no-one is getting me on a zip-wire.
Don’t even think about it unless you want a head-on meeting with a zimmer!

But they do have profiling beds and ceiling hoists - and I bet the scenery is good for photographers.
I am putting them on my list.


The term ‘disabled friendly’ is a tad patronising and covers a multitude of sins!

I think you’re on thin ice Anitra when you imply that some disabled people should not have the opportunity to use the same facilities as eveyone else.

If someone has a severe disability it doesn’t mean they have to stay in a nursing home instead of a hotel.

Thank you krakowen. I felt some comments were unfounded and from people who haven’t learned what is available to the more severely disabled. Those kinds of comments are expected from people who have no knowledge of what its like for some of us, not those with disabilities themselves.



I think Dr. Geoff has explained the problem very well. Disabilities are so diverse that no establishment could ever guarantee it is able to accommodate every single thing that might conceivably be wrong with anyone.

I personally would interpret “disability friendly” to mean little more than step-free access. Not that they have hoists, commodes etc. What else might people need? Oxygen, perhaps, with some conditions?

There’s a big difference between “disability friendly” and being able to provide specialist facilities for the more extreme forms of disability - the latter is usually called a nursing home or respite care, not a hotel!

[/quote] Anita, just so you know and are more informed…there are several English/ Welsh hotels which do have hoists, profiling beds, commodes, shower chairs for us who require them. These establishments are hotels and not called homes or respite centres. As far as oxygen goes, those who use it take their own.

I’m not having a go at you, it isn’t your fault that you’ve not researched the issue when you have no need of it.