Servicing Accessible Rooms

servicing accessible rooms

The housekeeping department plays an important role in helping to ensure that a hotel is able to accommodate guests with disabilities. Too often, impediments to access are overlooked or forgotten. Here are some important reminders for housekeeping managers share with staff:

Getting to the Guestroom: For guests with disabilities, the task of navigating to their room can be frustrating and dangerous when there are obstacles blocking the path. Housekeeping carts must be staged as close to one wall as possible so wheelchairs, scooters, and rollators can pass. Similarly, soiled linens, trash, and room service trays must be removed from the guestroom floors as soon as possible. Maintenance carts, ladders, or other impediments that will block travel should never be left unattended on guest floors.

Inside the Guestroom: In mobility accessible rooms, ensure that all sheet and bed linens are tucked into the mattress so as not to get tangled on the wheels of an assistive device such as a wheelchair or rollator. Bathtubs and showers should be coated with non-slip tape or epoxy coating. Sturdy grab bars in the tub/showers and adjacent to the toilet are required. All towels, amenity items, hangers, and closet rods must be located at a height where an individual in a wheelchair can easily reach them. Test the bathroom’s phone or emergency call button that allows mobility-impaired guests to summon help.

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When servicing guestrooms designed to accommodate visual- and hearing-impaired guests, check the doorbell signaling device and bed shaker that connects to the alarm clock and alarms system to ensure they are operating correctly. Make sure that all telephones connect to the front desk. Check that braille collateral materials are easy to find on the desk and that the guestroom window is closed and locked and that the heat/AC are set at a comfortable temperature.

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Dr. William D. Frye is a hospitality educator, researcher, consultant, and former hotel general manager. He is the co-author of AHLEI’s housekeeping textbook Managing Housekeeping Operations.