Good news for holidaymakers – there is now more accessible accommodation to choose from. The Hytte, Northumberland (below) is rated ‘Access Exceptional’.
Good news for accommodation providers– by addressing access issues you are increasing your potential market and meeting your responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act. Advertising accessible holiday accommodation with the Accessible Property Register ensures that potential holidaymakers will appreciate and benefit from your investment in access.
Meeting access needs
The information below is based on our own and the experiences of other disabled people. It is offered as a resource and a checklist for holiday accommodation providers.
These are features that will benefit anyone with a physical impairment, including wheelchair users – and make life easier for everyone else. The Accessible Property Register regrets that we cannot accept advertisements for accommodation that does not meet these minimum standards.
- Step-free approach to property
- Parking available
- Level or ramped access
- Entrance level WC
- Ground level accessible bedroom(s)
- Lift access to accessible bedroom(s)
- Level (or lift) access to public areas
These are additional features, equipment and adaptations that increase the accessibility of the accommodation and which may be essential for some visitors.
- Allergy-free accommodation available
- Wide doorways, external 800mm, internal 750mm
- Mid-height switches/power sockets
- Adapted kitchen
- Adapted bathroom
- Level entry (roll-in) shower/wet-room
- Wall-mounted shower seat
- Wheeled shower chair available
- Raised/adapted toilet, e.g. Closomat
- Lowered hanging space in wardrobes
- Lift access for wheelchairs to upper floors
- Ceiling hoist
- Mobile hoist available
- Clearance under bed for mobile hoist
- Profiling bed(s)
- Personal care assistance can be booked
- Level/ramped access to garden/grounds
- Information available in large print
- Information available in Braille
- Emergency assistance alarm call
- Visual or vibrating fire alarms available
- Access statement available
Are you prepared to move furniture and provide high seat or reclining chairs if these are required? Can you link with a local agency or individuals to offer care assistance if required?
Location – access features and amenities
The value of providing information about the accessibility of the local area, pubs, restaurants and visitor attractions is often overlooked, but an access survey that includes information about at least some of the following is likely to be greatly appreciated by your guests:
- Surrounding area is either level or only gently sloping
- Paved walkways are provided in the development and/or to local services.
- Designated parking is available at local services
- Local services are ‘access friendly’ with light controlled crossings and dropped kerbs with tactile paving at crossings and junctions
- Facilities in the development are accessible e.g. cafes, bars and restaurants, leisure centre, spa, clubhouse etc.
- If the development includes a swimming pool or there is one nearby, is there wheelchair access to the pool surround and access to the pool using a pool hoist. Are there adapted changing rooms (e.g. with a hoist and changing bed)
- How far is it to the nearest supermarket, pub, restaurants, bars, swimming pools, golf course, etc? In particular, are these accessible and/or within wheeling distance for wheelchair users. Around 500 metres on a level paved surface would be about the maximum.
- How far is it to the nearest health services, doctor, hospital, etc? For overseas developments is there an English-speaking doctor available?
- Is accessible local transport available? For overseas destinations, can wheelchair accessible transport be arranged between the airport and resort?
National Accessible Scheme
To accredit accessible holiday accommodation, and provide greater peace of mind the National Tourist Agency (Visit Britain) runs the National Accessible Scheme. This offers a national standard including objective and detailed criteria for achieving the standards in relation to mobility, vision and hearing impairment. Criteria and detailed advice are available allowing owners and managers of premises to carry out a self audit. Premises are inspected prior to accreditation.
Full details of the scheme plus the criteria required to meet the various levels and standards are available at National Accessible Scheme
If you have invested in access, ensure that your customers know about it. Get it right and they will beat a path to your door – the best accommodation providers listed with us already have bookings for next summer!