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Old 12-31-2012, 11:23 AM   #1
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Accessible Room questions

I have to reschedule/rebook our February trip and I'm thinking about booking an accessible room for Dmom. She will probably be staying BCV in a studio or 1BR. My question is this: because she is NOT in a wheelchair does this "disqualify" her from requesting said room? She has Parkinsons and will be using an ECV while touring. She could greatly benefit from all the grab bars in the bathroom; which is why I'm leaning towards an accessible room. I would hate to "take away" the room from someone wheelchair bound for someone with limited mobility. Don't know if any of that makes sense
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:32 AM   #2
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You can definitely get an accessible room with an ECV
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:40 AM   #3
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We rent the wheelchair accessible room all the time at AS Sports even though Lenny isn't confined to a wheelchair (he does however need a scooter at Disney). However, the room is still needed for the amenities - higher toilets, grab bars, etc and we've never been denied because I tell them we need it for medical necessity (because it is). I can't see Disney saying no to you for your mother. It's not like you're saying you want it just because. Your mom has a condition where the amenities will be a help to her. Just let Disney know it's a medical necessity, not a request. Besides, for all we know, there could be other non-accessible rooms that still have the grab bars that would be great for your mom while leaving an actual accessible room open.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:14 PM   #4
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I always use an accessible unit. When my DH traveled we needed it be because of his MS.......he no longer can travel. Now when I travel, I need it because of arthritis. Last trip was the first time I used an ECV but did use an accessible unit prior visits.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:05 PM   #5
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Do be sure to ask as there are rooms in some resorts that have grab bars in the bathroom but aren't fully wheelchair accessible. One of those might work very well for your mother. Ask, though, where exactly the grab bars are positioned. Some rooms will have them around the toilet but not necessarily in the tub/shower area.

Our TA said he was told when he submitted our room request for our forthcoming trip that Disney is adding more grab bars to bathrooms for safety reasons. Not every room has them, however.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:45 AM   #6
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They do not and cannot ask for proof that you need an accessible room ( the ADA says that proof can't be required). And, if someone says they need an accessible room, the ADA actually requires that there are things in place to make sure the room is reserved for that guest. This makes sure people who reserved and need an accessible room don't arrive and find out their promised type of room is not available.

Hotels are actually required to have 2 'levels' of accessible rooms.
The first type is the fully accessible rooms with roll in showers that most people think about as wheelchair accessible rooms.
The second type is rooms with other features, including the amount of clear space to move around in the room and things like raised toilet seat, number and location of grab bars in the shower or tub, seat in the tub.

There is an ADA formula specifying the required number of each type of room. There are a lot more of the second type of rooms in each hotel/resort than there are of the first type.
According to the formula, a resort/hotel the size of Beach Club Villas (201-300 rooms) is required to have 7 accessible rooms (what I called type 2 rooms) and 3 rooms with roll in showers.
If you are interested in exactly what the requirements are for the different types of rooms, this is a helpful link: ADA Checklist for New Lodging Facilities (it's a long checklist, so you will need to do some scrolling around).

It's worth a try to request, but for a trip this February, you may find that all of the accessible rooms of both types have actually been reserved. Many people (like us) can't travel without knowing we will have a room with a roll in shower, so reserve one at the time they make their reservation.

Many hotels (not just Disney) are putting bathroom grab bars in all rooms or all first floor rooms for safety reason, as another poster mentioned. Those rooms may not meet all the ADA requirements for accessibility for rooms without a roll in shower, but may still be helpful and the extra grab bars can help prevent falls.
If they don't have any of the ADA accessible rooms available, it would probably still be helpful to ask about those rooms. You can also request (or rent from outside) things like a portable shower bench or a toilet riser to make the toilet seat higher.

A non-accessible Beach Club Studio may have grab bars. A non-accessible Beach Club one bedroom might not have any because the one bedrooms have shower stalls. We have found the DVC whirlpool tubs are not really accessible even in the roll in shower rooms because of the size and deepness of the tub.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by SueM loves WDW View Post
They do not and cannot ask for proof that you need an accessible room ( the ADA says that proof can't be required). And, if someone says they need an accessible room, the ADA actually requires that there are things in place to make sure the room is reserved for that guest. This makes sure people who reserved and need an accessible room don't arrive and find out their promised type of room is not available.

Just a word of warning about this: it does happen that they (yes, Disney) does and has 'given away' that handicapped room that was reserved! How do I know? It happened to us! We reserved 3 AKL concierge rooms, with one of them HAVING to be wheelchair accessible, due to DD being a quadraplegic and having to have a w/c accessible room. Well, we got to the resort, and our w/c room had been given away the day before by a person in a w/c who just showed up the day before and demanded a w/c concierge room. THere were other w/c accessible rooms in the resort, and we were offered one of those. This caused a problem, as we then had DDs (the one in the chair - age 22 at the time, and DDs 12 and 7 at the time) in a room on one floor, friends with their newborn on another floor, and DH and I on yet another floor. To say I was not happy is an understatement. I believe ticked beyond all get-out may describe it. Between that mistake, and a couple of other things that happened, I have a very bad opinion of AKL and have never been back. I also know that quite a few of the staff, including the person who overrode my 10 day reservation to free up a room for a "walk-in" for 2 days were demoted - and I don't feel bad about it in the least!

Okay - now that I've vented: call the resort and tell them what you're going to need. All of the resorts can bring shower chairs for guest use, making getting in and out of the shower easier, and I think they have toilet grab bars they can install (these attach to the toilet temporarily).
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