Travel and accommodation for disabled people

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Jacqui Alban

I think half the battle the disabled traveller has is actually trusting what they are being told and sold. There are a lot of companies/individuals that blindly say - yes we are accessible, we are disabled friendly and this is all on the provision of one grab rail by the toilet! They have no idea that a single grab rail just doesn't cut the "moutard"! It is so apparent in the "disability" industry as a whole - who has had either personal experience of being disabled or very close contact with a disabled person, rather than just read the regulations and put them into practice, as half the time they don't either cut the moutard either!!
I was amazed recently that the people that came to evaluate my apartments for the Tourisme et Handicape label, neither was a wheelchair user, so they borrowed one of my wheelchairs and continued gaily around each apartment, only to be able to get out of the wheelchair to hop onto the bed, or open the window as it was a bit of a stretch, or to shut a door behind them oh and obviously to get the tape measure out for those all important door widths and plug heights. I just found it surreal - the whole idea is that all of this is accessible - I know it is but then I built it, but to be able to jump out of the chair in order to make things easier for themselves was absolutely farcical!!
Oh and the best bit yet - I have actually passed the label but cannot be awarded it until I get my mandatory assessment from the Prefecture - now here is the funny bit - they are insisting that I put pressure cookers in each apartment - hmmmmmm what do you think, wheelchair user, hot, large unmanageable pan? I have a bit of an issue with this one!
Anyway gone a bit off topic - but make sure that you get lots of photos and measurements - if the owner is telling the truth it will become apparent, they will gladly furnish you with heights, widths, etc of the loo, or the plugs, etc and give you photos to prove it - if they have a website - take a good look, you should be able to get lots of info that will make your decision easier.
In fact - our website, I think is somewhat boring, maybe too many facts and photos, but at least you know from the outset exactly what you are getting!


Have the people who insisted on the pressure cooker ever tried carrying something heavy and manouvre a wheelchair? Or carry anything and self propel, let alone if you only have the use of one arm. A microwave is a much better idea for a disabled person. When I was in rehab here in France the emphasis was on personal safety and the safety of others around you. I find lifting a full kettle of water (hot or cold) so a pressure cooker of water and food! But of course to be disabled you don't have to be in a wheelchair. Blind and partially sighted people I know are wary of heavy, hot pans. Older people who are not steady on their feet, find things like that hazzardous. I do have a fairly ablebodied husband to care for me and help me; not everyone has that luxury.

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