25 April 2009

Trying to ensure that people live life to the FULL!

I am not sure what I will contirbute to this blog and even whether I should if I am honest - I am no expert, in fact although having been disabled and using a wheelchair for a number of years, I am now not and don't any more!
Having skirted around the edges of disability, equality, human rights etc for a number of years I am a confirmed advocate for disabled people. so much so I work with and for disabled people every day. When I suddenly became disabled after a car accident it was a fairly rough ride, a huge steep learning curve which a mere mortal cannot hope to understand unless they have been there, done it and actually worn the T Shirt!
It was a turning point in my life, in fact in our lives as a family - one which looking back on I wouldn't change for the world, as it made me what I am, what I have and what I dream for today and for the future. It lost me friends, but it made me more, it lost me part of my life but enriched it 100 fold, it changed my goals which upset the applecart, but hey you rethink and get on with it!
We moved country, we started our own business, we work tirelessly, we have more stress, we learnt a new language, we have more debt that you can ever imagine but we also have amazing job satisfaction! Can't be all bad!
We are trying to change the preconceived ideas, we are trying to change an industry, we are trying to ensure people do live life to the full!
What are we doing - wheelchair accessible holiday accommodation - not so hard you all think - hey its not if you get it right, but how many hotels, rentals, hostels have you been to in your time that aren't right but think they are! Yep - thought so - 99% of disabled travellers have at some stage or another been on a holiday only to find they can't get to the loo, or have a shower, or worse still get in the front door..................complete nightmare...............yet the accommodation said they were accessible, in fact they had a wheelchair logo somewhere on their website, or brochure.
The fact of the matter is that 90% of these places have been designed/converted by a non disabled person, an architect who has read all the rules and regs for turning circles, hand rails, etc but not considered the fact at how bloody difficult it actually is to get in and out of a bath, or if you have a raised loo then one grab rail on one side isn't actually sufficient.
Right I am getting off my soap box now - this subject can go on forever - but we all know what I mean. So onto bigger and better things - we have done it and I truly mean that - we have a website that shows you everything about our apartments, it even has measurements, widths of doors, heights of loos, beds, etc. ALL of our accommodation is accessible, not just a small % I mean ALL of it, we have thought of other barriers, equipment or lack of it, support workers or lack of them, adapted transport or lack of it - all things that are incredibly important to disabled travellers, but so overlooked in the tourist industry. Some people want Tea and Coffee making facilities in their rooms, we talk about hoists and pressure mattresses. I don't sell our place on the wonderful beaches ten mins down the road, my sales patter is all about the bathroom and toilet facilities! You think I am joking - not in a million years!!!! LOL

This is what I mean......one of the tags for the photo of the bathroom is 'enough room to shower a horse' and we mean that, room for the wheelchair, a hoist plus the shower chair and then still room for support workers, etc, etc you get my drift?

I can't get it exactly right for YOU - you is too personal, and people are too individual, what works for one won't for another, etc, etc but generically speaking we have got it right, and we try to ensure that people can get about, are comfortable and have a great time whilst they're here - what more can you ask for?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jacqui,

    This looks great! and I cant wait to hear how my friends get on when they come in the summer. The more I discuss this with Mum the more it is looking more likely that we would be looking into coming over

    hope you can help us out

    Nice to see you and enjoy